††††††††††† Family biography of the Sharp's to which I belong is as follows:I, Alexander Sharp, son of George Sharp, was born August 1, 1839 on a farm near the old town of Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland.I was baptized in the old Kirk of Kilmarnock, September 23, 1839.I had one brother, Thomas Sharp, two years older than I.Thomas was born June 27, 1837, in the same place as above named.I was married October 26, 1869, by the Rev. S. B. Sherrill, pastor of the Congregation Church of Bellevue, Ohio, to Mary Ann Aigler of Bellevue, Ohio, and to us were born ten children.

 

††††††††††† First child-††††† Clarence Alexander Sharp, born February 20, 1871, baptised by †† the Rev. S. B. Sherrill.At present a concrete contractor in Madison, N.J., preacher in the Aldine M. E. Church, Rochelle Park,N.J.

 

††††††††††† Second child-Chester Delbert Sharp, born May 24, 1872, at Bellevue, baptised by Rev. S. B. Sherrill.At present an attorney in Kansas City, Kansas.

 

††††††††††† Third child-†††† Elmer Ellsworth Sharp, born April 19, 1874, near Centerville, Michigan.Baptised April 25, 1876, by the Rev. A. H. Van Vranken, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church of Centerville.He is now an attorney in Kansas City, Kansas.

 

††††††††††† Fourth & Fifth child- Lillie and Lulu Sharp, born January 29, 1876, near Centerville.

Baptised by the Rev. A. H. Van Vranken.Lillie died of Diphtheria, Aug. 11, 1879.Lulu is now the wife of William Price, Fairfax, Michigan.

 

††††††††††† Sixth Child- ††† Oly Sharp, born June 27, 1877, near Centerville, Mich.Baptised by ††Rev. A. H. Van Vranken.Now wife of William H. Arney, near Sturgis, Michigan.

 

††††††††††† Seventh child- Roy Hamilton Sharp, born August 7, 1878, near Centerville, Michigan.Baptised by Rev. A. H. Van Vranken.At present in ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† office of Libby, McNeil & Co., Chicago, Illinois.

 

††††††††††† Eighth Child- Blanch Sharp, born Dec. 23, 1880, near Centerville, Michigan.She is ††††††††††† now

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the wife of Dr. L. H. Tower of Battle Creek, Michigan.

†††††††††††

††††††††††† Ninth child-†††† Carmi Garfield Sharp, born January 20., 1884, near Centerville, Michigan.Now married to Hazel Thurston and living on a farm in Colon Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan.

 

††††††††††† Tenth Child- †† Alexander Thomas Sharp, born, Dec. 16, 1886, near Centerville,

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mich.He is now in Denver, Colorado.

 

††††††††††† My brother Thomas Sharp married Susan Thompson, of Bellevue, Ohio.To them were born four children:Catherine Sharp, March 20, 1865, near Bellevue, Ohio, died in June, 1907.She is buried in the cemetery near Mount Blanchard, Hancock County, Ohio;George and Belle Sharp, born in 1866 near Martin, Ottawa Co., Ohio.George now lives at Findlay, Ohio, and Belle is married to William Bond and lives on a farm near Arlington, Hancock Co., Ohio;Nancy Sharp, born near Bellevue, Ohio in 1868, died in 1896.

††††††††††† I, Alexander Sharp, was married to Mary Ann Aigler, of Bellevue, Ohio in 1869.My father, George Sharp, died in September, 1839 when I was 6 weeks old.George had five brothers and two sisters as follows:James, John, Robert, Alexander, Margaret, Anne, and Thomas.I have lost knowledge of some of them further than where they have gone.James died in Canada leaving one daughter, Maggie.John went to South Carolina some time in 1820 and was lost to the family.Robert went to Australia in 1854, was married and had one son Robert and one daughter Agnes.Alexander is living in Inverkething, Scotland, and has a family of four or five boys.Thomas died in the city of Alloa, Scotland leaving four sons and two daughters.Of these Thomas went to Australia, James went to Australia, Andrew was a sailor and John lives with his father when last I knew him, Janet is married to a manufacturer in Alloa and Margaret was at home the last I knew of her.

††††††††††† George Sharp, father of myself (Alexander) was the son of Thomas Sharp and Margaret Shaw of Tillicoultry.Thomas Sharp died in 1860 and is buried in the cemetery at Tillicoultry.George Sharp is also buried in the same family burial ground.

††††††††††† Thomas Sharp had two brothers, James and John.They had families but I never knew much about them.They lived in Clackmannanshire.Thomas Sharp was the son of James Sharp and James Sharp was the son of Thomas Sharp and I have been told that the head of the family thus alternated in name for four hundred years, living on the farm of Whitleys near the village of Coalnaughten.Of course, all this antedates my knowledge.

††††††††††† Thomas Sharp, his father James Sharp, and his father Thomas Sharp were all ruling elders in the old Kirk of Tillicoultry.George Sharp (my father) died young and never attained the eldership.But his son Thomas was ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Blanchard, Ohio;and Alexander, Thomas' brother, is ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church of Centerville, Michigan.

††††††††††† The mother of Alexander Sharp and wife of George Sharp, Isabella Hamilton, was born in the village of Dollar, Scotland and educated at the Academy there.She died in March 1879 and was buried at Mt. Blanchard.She was the daughter of Alexander Hamilton and Janet Stalker to whom there were born also four other children;John, who came to Ohio and died near Genoa;William, who lived and died in Dunfermline, Scotland, where some of his family now resides;Alexander, who spent his life in Alloa, Scotland where some of his family yet remains;and Jess (Janet), who married Sam McCulloch and lived in Coalnaughten were they raised a large family of which I know nothing except two of them emigrated to Utah about 1853.

††††††††††† Isabella's father, emigrated to Canada in 1816 expecting to send for his family but died and was buried in Canada.His (Alexander Hamiltonís) father, Hugh Hamilton, was owner of nearly all the land which the city of Tillicoultry now stands.His descendants through the male line are large property owners now.

††††††††††† Mary Aigler, wife of Alexander Sharp, was born near Beaver Town, Synder Co., Penn., January 16, 1840.She was the daughter of Joel Aigler and Eliza Smith.Her grandfather was born in Pennsylvania but her great grandfather came from Germany.

††††††††††† Her mother's people were of English extraction. Her father died when she was three years old.Her mother remarried, her husband being the brother of the dead husband.In 1848 they emigrated to Ohio near Bellevue where she was raised.She had one full sister, Elizabeth, now wife of John Benfer of Seneca, Kansas;also three half-brothers of whom only one is living in Kansas City, Kansas;and two half sisters, Matilda, now dead, whose husband, Jacob Horpster and family live near Willis, Donopher Co., Kansas;and, Clara, the wife of Allen Kern, who with her husband and daughter, lives near Peabody, Kansas.

††††††††††† Alexander Sharp and his mother emigrated from Scotland on April 1, 1856.We sailed from Liverpool in the sailing ship Neptune of the Black Ball line.We were on the water between Liverpool and New York for thirty-four days with eight hundred other passengers.There were but few steamboats at the time.My brother Thomas, two years older than I, had come to America two years previous so mother and I went directly to Bellevue where he lived.He immediately sought a house and Thomas and I made it as pleasant as possible for her.I hired out for one year on a farm for $12.00 a month, the highest wages attainable at that time.The next year I was employed on a farm during the summer and attended school in the winter.I was sixteen when I came to America.

††††††††††† The third year I hired to work for H. M. Flagler, a fellow partner of Rockefeller, the great Standard Oil leader.I was in his employ three years.I went to Saginaw while under him in 1861.He was then manufacturing salt.During the winter of 1861-62, I, with a gang of men chopped and banked on the Tittebawassee River about two thousand cords of four foot wood which was scowed down the river.I boiled salt until the fall of 1863 when I enlisted in the First Regiment of Michigan Engineers and Mechanics.I went to the front and was in the war of the Rebellion until the end of the hostilities.I was in Sherman's Army in the campaign from Nashville, Chattanooga to Atlanta.I was taken sick in 1864 in July while helping to build a blockhouse at Hurricane Creek, Alabama, was in the hospital some time and when I finally left it, weighed eighty pounds.(I weighed one hundred sixty when I enlisted.)I did not go with Sherman to the sea but was sent from the hospital to my regiment at Savannah by way of New York.When we got as far as Mansfield, Ohio, however, I took French leave and came up to Bellevue, Ohio to see my mother and brother whom I had not seen for three years.After staying at home for two days I continued my journey east to New York and reported to Bedloes Island where my captain in charge was quartered.He shook hands and congratulated me on my safe arrival, saying that he would have done the same thing but unfortunately his folks lived in Illinois.Next day I was promoted as quartermaster of about six thousand of Sherman's soldiers who, like ourselves, were going to join their commands in Savannah.We were on Bedloes Island about a week before we were taken by transport to Savannah.Of course it was my duty to issue rations for the voyage of four days, consequently I had plenty of the good things for myself and squad.Upon our arrival at Hilton Head we were stopped.Sherman had then left on his march through the Carolinas.We went into camp at Beaufort for about a week.Then we were attached to General Hatch's division and marched northward toward Charleston.It took ten days to reach the Ashley River which is directly across form Charleston City.

††††††††††† Being at the head of the commissary department for the brigade of six thousand men, I, with my men, did a good deal of foraging on the country taking everything eatable to be found.We found a great many sweet potatoes, and one day I made a triumphal entry into camp with a fine horse and buggy and a fat calf with its head cut off and its neck hanging out of the side of the buggy, a lot of eggs, ham, and other good things.Our head quarter mess live well of course, we had two detailed cooks and Colonel Hutchins's words to me were, "Now Sharp, we look to you for grub" and I found it, too.One morning I was ordered to take a detail of men and go across the river for rations.The boys were getting pretty hungry.We had to search up and down the banks of the river to get boats to cross in and when we finally did reach the other shore we found no commissary.They were cleaning up an old warehouse preparatory to supplies coming in from Hilton Head.The steamer was expected in the morning but it did not get there until three in the afternoon.The Rebel general, Beaureguard, had evacuated the city only the day previous.We loaded the rations onto a small tug we pressedinto service and recrossed the river.When we reached the command they were so hungry they were desperate.The colonel had to throw a guard around while I distributed the rations.If you have ever come into contact with a bunch of hungry soldiers you will see a fierce lot.

††††††††††† Perhaps it would be interesting to know what became of my horse and buggy.Upon our arrival in camp on the Ashley River, one-half mile below us, there had been a small sawmill with many outbuildings.Among them was a barn and a shed into which I put my horse and buggy.That night the buildings were fired and everything went up in smoke.That was the end of my prize.However I lost nothing as I would have had to have turned it have to the government anyway.

††††††††††† We were in camp about two weeks, arriving there April 1, 1865.I went over to the city every day, having a standing pass to go where I pleased any time, either for the purpose of procuring rations or for pleasure.At this time I was promoted as first lieutenant of a colored regiment and had a recruiting commission.The refugees coming in from the country were very numerous and I was in a position to get them to enlist.I had made a contract with a man by the name of Burgess of Auburn County, New York in which he agreed to pay me $300 for every recruit I would turn over to him to be credited to his county so that it might be cleared from draft.The detailed arrangement was that I would be paid $25 for every recruit upon enlistment, when turned into the barracks, and would receive the remaining $275 when they were mustered into the United Service.The first part $675, for 27 recruits, was paid on the night of the 12th of April, 1865.

††††††††††† At this time the theater was opened for the first time since the city fell into the hands of the Union troops.Of course I was there and the house was jammed full of soldiers, sailors, and marines.A few minutes after the curtain was dropped over the first act, the stage manager appeared with a paper in his hand, which had just arrived on the transport from Fortress Monroe.He said, " I hold in my hand a synopsis of the day's events.General Lee has surrendered to General Grant at Appotomax."

††††††††††† You can imagine the yells and the confusion which followed.Everyone went wild in ecstasy of joy.No more theater that night.There was probably a thousand people present and when they went out on the streets and along the roads bedlam was let loose.I think some of those people who live in Charleston and were there at that time have never forgotten it.

††††††††††† I and the adjutant went across the river taking the glorious news without going to headquarters.It was about twelve o'clock at night and all were in their tents asleep, but in a very few minutes after we had told the news of the surrender, yelling and hallelujahs could be heard from 6000 men all over the camp.There was no more sleep that night.

††††††††††† The same transport that brought the news of the surrender, brought also orders to stop all recruiting and mustering in of enlisted men.So I never got my men mustered and consequently lost $7425.00 by Lee's surrender a week too soon (as I would have been mustered in as a lieutenant and all my men as privates a few days later).

††††††††††† Two days later on the 14th of April, 1865 was the anniversary of the surrender at Fort Sumpter.It was ordered by headquarters at Washington that the colors be again raised on the same day of the month on which they had been lowered four years ago to give place to the rebel flag.A number of transports with the elite of New York had come down to take them to the island.As I had a standing pass I decided to go over.I took the adjutant with me and we impressed a Negro to take us over to the fort.Major Anderson with his own hand raised the same old flag he had been compelled to take down four years ago, and also hung to the flagstaff the same old mailbag.Major Anderson, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells, and Henry Ward Beecher, three venerable gray heads, stood and hugged each other with tears of joy streaming down their cheeks when Old Glory was again flung to the breeze.There was perhaps eight hundred people present when Henry Ward Beecher delivered the oration in Fort Sumpter, outliningthe reconstructing of the states that seceded.It was a memorable occasion and one long to be remembered by every eye witness and patriot.

††††††††††† On our arrival in camp, all was confusion.Our command had been ordered to embark from Charleston to Moorehead City, in order to join Sherman at Raleigh, North Carolina.We embarked about six o'clock in the evening and arrived at Moorehead City about six next morning.Upon our arrival, we observed the flags on the vessels at half-mast, and upon inquiry were told it was reported that Lincoln had been assassinated that night but the news was not confirmed.This cast a gloom over everything and everyone was in suspense.In the morning, soon after disembarking, daily papers from New York arrived which added still more gloom and sorrow.

††††††††††† I took the cars at Moorehead City for Newborn, N.C., to have rations ready for the command which was marching to this place, a distance of about fifteen miles.It arrived about four o'clock in the afternoon.I had selected a nice camping place and had secured almost double rations for everybody.We stayed in camp all night and the next day transportation was furnished to everyone to Raleigh by cars and all rejoined their various regiments.I found mine and had a good hearty handshake with the boys who were all ragged and dead broke.I was quite flush with the money I had received in my recruiting business.I arrived here on April 24, 1865.Johnson had surrendered to Sherman, but the conditions given by Sherman were not acceptable to the Secretary of War Stanton, so on April 26, General Grant arrived.I was in the City of Raleigh when he came.All troops were ordered to the front.We commenced marching about ten o'clock and had proceeded ten miles when a courtier arrived to inform us that Johnson had surrendered to Grant unconditionally.Next day we marched back to Raleigh and encamped.On the 30th of April we commenced our long march to Washington by way of Richmond.On May 3 we reached the Ronoke River.Our pontoons were to short to reach across, so my regiment was detailed to finish the job.We had to build about twenty feet of bridge by going into the woods and cutting trees, putting piles into twelve feet of water, hewing stringers, and splitting logs into planks.We finished about two o'clock in the morning.I was leaning over spiking braces when I lost hold and plunked down head over heels into the water.I crawled out up onto the bank wet and exhausted, lay down behind a tree and fell fast asleep.When I awakened in the morning I was cold and stiff, so stiffened with rheumatism in fact, that I rode in an ambulance for the next two days.My knapsack which I had secured before I laid sown was my pillow. I had had a bible mother sent me that I had always rolled up in a blue satin handkerchief, but in my haste and confusion when I got up from behind the tree to fall in on the march, I left my bible laying on the ground.I felt exceedingly sorrowful and had it been a possible thing, I would have marched back twenty miles to get it.I wanted very much to have a bible that I had carried through the war.I hope whoever found it made good use of it.

††††††††††† We arrived in Richmond May 11.I went and visited Libbey Paison, which at one time had been a tobacco warehouse.Our march continued and we arrived in Alexandria, five miles south of Washington, on the 19th of May.On May 24th with the rest of Sherman's army we passed through Washington in review, a memorable event in history.Our division went into camp five miles out at Arlington Heights.From here I visited Washington a number of times and saw all the places of note.On June 9th we took transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio R.R. for Parkersburg on the Ohio River.We rode on the car tops in the rain all night and traversed a distance of 348 miles, traveling for forty-eight hours.We went into camp two miles out of the city arriving here the 14th of June.On June 30th, 1865 we took transportation for Nashville, Tenn.By this time the boys were so angry they felt like mutinying.The infantry were being mustered out and sent home and we had expected we would be at Washington, then we thought surelywe would at Louisville, and now here we were at our old camping ground at Nashville.We were divided up and sent here and there to repair forts and kept until September 22, when we were mustered out of the United States Army.Next day we broke camp for Michigan, arriving at Jackson City Sept. 26.On Sunday morning at ten o'clock I was paid off and discharged.I threw off Uncle Sam's garb and went down to town and bought a suit of clothes becoming free American citizen.

††††††††††† The next day I went home to Bellevue, Ohio, where I was received with open arms by my mother and brother Thomas.After resting awhile I went out to Martin, Ohio, with brother Thomas and bought 160 acres of land at eight dollars an acre.We sold our home near Bellevue and moved to Martin in December, 1865.I sold timber from my land and bought a yoke of oxen to help haul it to the mill, earning three dollars per day thereby.The following summer I bought forty acres more of land, which was partly well-cleared, as all the timber was out.For this, I paid $23 per acre.I put in my time clearing this land and fitting out for crop, and running the engine of a sawmill part of the time.In the following fall and winter I taught school three miles south of Genoa at Ottawa Co. Ohio.In the meantime, my mother and I were living together in a house which I had purchased in Martin.In the spring of 1867 I traded all my property in Martin for sixty acres of land three miles north of Bellevue, Ohio.In the fall I moved back to Bellevue, Ohio, built a house and barn on my land and the following year married Mary Ann Aigler.Mother continued to live with us.In the spring of 1874 I sold my farm and moved to Michigan, arriving the first of March.I bought 80 acres of land in St. Joseph Co., paying $70 per acre or $5600.Mother then went to live with brother Thomas who had remained in Ohio.

††††††††††† At this time my family consisted of myself, my wife, and my two sons, Clarence and Chester.I was located two miles east of Centerville, Michigan, and lived on this farm 10 years.There were born to us six children, Elmer, the twins Lulu and Lillie, Oly, Roy, and Blanche.In the year 1884, I sold the farm with the view of going to Kansas, but after looking the state of Kansas over, I came back and purchased a farm near Centerville of 212 acres, at the cost of $13,500.There have been born to us of this farm two sons, Carmi and Alexander.In 1894 I was elected County Treasurer and held this office for a term of two years.I was re-nominated but the campaign with Bryan and free silver put all Republicans out of office.I have been President of the Agricultural Society for a number of years, President of the Farmers Institute a number of years, and President of the Pioneer Society four years.

††††††††††† At the present writing at the age of seventy-one, my wife, seventy, we are left alone as all of our children have made homes for themselves in various parts of the country.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Alexander Sharp.

Centerville, Michigan

March 26, 1911

 

Copied by Kathryn Ann Sharp, June 26, 2003.