Join a historic cause by helping say good bye to Three U.S. War Veterans From the same family who fought in the Civil War, WWI and WWII
With the Blessings and Support of a Grateful Nation these veterans will be buried side-by-side at a national military cemetery
These three veterans are all related - Peter Armstead Civil War Veteran is Robert Earl Armstead’s WWII great-grandfather and Robert Earl Armstead (a.k.a. Earl) WWI Veteran is Robert Earl Armstead’s (WWII) uncle. Our family have many fond memories and stories of these fine veterans who served and sacrificed for our Great Nation. Peter, Earl and Robert were honorably discharged, and all were proud to have served their country.
PETER ARMSTEAD – CIVIL WAR VETERAN Peter Armstead fought in the Civil War from 1861 to 1864. He was captured and placed in a Confederate prisoner of war camp along with other Union prisoners who survived on nothing more than water and eating tobacco to stay alive. He was discharged for war related disabilities. Peter suffered from these war related disabilities and laid bed-ridden until he died at the of age 49, leaving behind 6 children and a wife. Peter married late in life, with his oldest child 14 and his youngest child 9 months at the time of his death. Peter was a farmer prior to the war.
EARL ARMSTEAD – World War I Robert Earl Armstead, referred to as Earl Armstead, by his family, fought in World War I in France. Earl developed emphysema as a result of the war and had a steady cough the rest of his life. He died earlier than his other family members. Prior to the war Earl worked as a farmer and a lumberman in Northern Michigan. Earl was a kind-hearted man who loved his wife Alberta and adored his nephew Robert Earl Armstead who became a WWII veteran.
ROBERT ARMSTEAD – World War II Robert Armstead fought in the European Theater of War during WWII. Robert served in the armored division (M-4 Sherman Tank) and earned the rank of sergeant. Robert had hearing loss and developed other conditions as a result of being in the war, which he dealt with the rest of his life. Robert was born in 1926 in one of the worse snow storms in northern Michigan on a poor rural farm. He was born a blue baby and came very close to death. He barely survived the Great Depression. After the war he started his own construction company and hired veterans. He would say, “I survived the war, so I can survive anything life has to throw at me.” Robert was a kind and caring person who was liked by whomever met him. People would look into his kind blue eyes and his warm smile and just know instantly this was a good man to be around.
We hope you take the time to read a brief history of Peter, Earl and Robert’s stories. They represent so many of our brave veterans who fought in the Civil War, WWI and WWII, (see attachments). For many veterans the pain and suffering of going to war, doesn’t stop after the war stops, but painfully lingers on with them for the rest of their lives. God Bless All Our Veterans!
It would be an honor for you to be part of this historic event in supporting in pray and donation to Peter, Earl and Robert so they can be buried side-by-side at the Great Lakes National Cemetery, in which they will be buried with other fine veterans who sacrificed so much for our nation. Like other veterans buried at our national military cemeteries these veterans’ grave sites will be care for, honored and respected forever on these scared grounds.
Peter Armstead fought in the Civil War from 1861 to 1864. He fought on the Union side and was in Company H, Third Regiment, Michigan Cavalry. He enlisted as a Private in Company H, Third Regiment, Michigan Cavalry on September 25, 1861, at Port Huron, Michigan and was duly mustered into service of the U. S. for the term of 3 years, on October 12, 1861.
Peter Armstead started in the Infantry at Bull Run (Manassas) in July 21, 1861, then joined Company H, Third Regiment of Michigan Cavalry, which was permanently organized and mustered into the service of the U. S. at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the month of October 1861.
Company H, Third Regiment, Michigan Cavalry enter the field in March 1, 1862 and were in the following major battles: New Madrid, Missouri March 26, 1862; Island Number 10, Tennessee April 1862; Battle of Corinth, Mississippi October 3 and 4; Battle of Iuka, Mississippi September 19, 1862; Battle of Hatchie’s Bridge, Tennessee October 5, 1862; Hudsonville, Tennessee November 16, 1862; Lumkins Mill, Mississippi, November 30, 1862; Oxford, Mississippi December 2, 1862; Coffeeville, Mississippi December 5, 1862 and Jackson, Mississippi June 13, 1863. In addition, the Company H, Third Regiment, Michigan Cavalry had participated in fifteen+ fiery encounters with the Confederate army.
Peter Armstead was captured on July 20, 1862 at Rienzi, Mississippi and placed into a Confederate prisoner of war camp in Tupelo, Mississippi where he and other Union prisoners were starved. These prisoners had no food, they only survived on water and eating tobacco to stay alive.
Peter was pardon on September 7, 1862 at Vicksburg, Mississippi, after the pardon he join his unit. He was discharged for war related disabilities on March 29, 1864 at St Louis, Missouri. He wanted to re-enlist, but the ravages of the prison camp and war disabilities prevented him from any further military service according a U.S. Army Surgeon.
Peter Armstead received a Homestead lot #154 from President Ulysses S. Grant for his service in the military.
Peter Armstead suffered from war related conditions after his discharge and became bed ridden, contracted lip cancer from the tobacco usage from the prison camp and died at the age of 49. His oldest son took care of his 5 younger siblings while his father Peter was suffering, and bed ridden. After his father’s death he took care of his siblings.
Robert Earl Armstead, referred to as Earl Armstead, by his family, fought in World War I in France. Earl joined the U S Army in 1917. He served in the Army with the rank of Wagoner in Unit Wagoner Company A 311 Engineers. Earl received the WWI Victory Medal with Defensive Sector Battle Clasp and the WWI Victory Button. Note: It’s unusual to find a WWI Victory medal that only has the Defensive Sector clasp.
General Pershing himself proposed the Defensive Sector clasp to the WWI Victory Medal. He wanted to recognize soldiers who had served in the front lines but may not have participated in a battle. These men still faced mortar and artillery fire, gas attacks, snipers, and probing attacks by the enemy.
Earl Armstead was placed in combat positions with one of his tasks of destroying enemy bridges. The war had a devastating effect on him, as it did on so many of our combat soldiers during WWI, due in part to the gas attacks of this war. Earl Armstead developed emphysema as a result of the war and had a steady cough the rest of his life. He died earlier than his other family members from the rural farming area he came from. His other family members lived into their 90’s, but Earl past away with severe breathing problems due to his emphysema condition from the war, he sadly died at age 74.
Prior to Earl joining the Army he worked as a farmer and a lumberman in Northern Michigan. After the war, work was hard to come by in the rural farming area. Earl Armstead was handy with building things. This man offered him a job to build a gas station in Lake City, Michigan, but the exterior had to be of stone. Earl took the job and built this gas station out of stone and was paid $1.00 a day for his work.
Earl eventually had to move away from the rural area to find work. At one point him and a friend headed to Chicago looking for work. While in Chicago Earl and his friend were stopped by Al Capone’s mob and they had to pay money to be in Chicago. He was a carpenter and spent several years in the Chicago area.
After working in Chicago, he found work in the Detroit area as a General Carpenter Foreman for a large construction company the W.E. Wood Company whose projects included the Fischer Building, Tiger Stadium, Penobscot Building, Belle Isle, Ford Motor plants, and several Catholic Institutions.
Earl’s sister Fern and her family moved to the Detroit area. Earl and his sister were close, and their families would spend the holidays and many other occasions together.
Earl was a kind-hearted man who loved his wife Alberta and adored his nephew Robert Earl Armstead. His nephew was named after his uncle Earl. When Earl died in 1970 his nephew Robert Earl Armstead expressed his wishes to be buried next to his uncle Earl when he died. His uncle Earl was like a father to him.
Robert Armstead served in a combat position in the European Theater of War in the 6th Army, which General Clark commanded. Robert served in the armored division (M-4 Sherman Tank) and was assigned to the armored unit Company B 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion (their motto “Search, Strike and Destroy”). He earned the rank of sergeant and the military honored him with the American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Metal, Victory Medal World War II and EAME Theater Ribbon.
Robert along with 6,000 other U.S. troops were sent from Virginia to the European Theater of War. He and the other troops had no idea specifically where they were going until the last second. Two of his friends ended up going to France and were killed within days of landing there, which hurt Robert deeply. His unit was sent to Italy. Robert spent 11 days on a ship with 6,000 other troops, while under heavy navy and air protection with the constant threat of enemy attack, to fight in the European Theater of War in Italy. These 6,000 combat troops landed in Naples, Italy and were stationed on the former farm of the Italian Dictator Bonito Mussolini.
Robert’s assigned armored unit Company B 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion’s major military campaign took place in the Po Valley region of Italy, in which 270,000 Allied forces captured over 100,000 Axis forces. His unit pushed forward with other battles and on August 1, 1945, his unit was sent back to the U.S. by ship.
Once back on U.S. soil his unit was placed on 30-day furlough before heading to the Pacific Theatre of War to invade Japan. However, President Truman ordered the atomic and the hydrogen bombs to be dropped on Japanese cities, which caused the Pacific War to end, so there was no longer a need for him and other troops to go to the Pacific. On June 27, 1946 he was honorably discharge from the Army at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
After the war Robert needed an operation due to war conditions that impacted him, but he needed approval from a non-VA doctor. A local Michigan doctor at first stated that he would not approve of the operation stating that he didn’t want his taxes to go up. My father was deeply hurt, he told the doctor that he fought in the war and needed this VA operation. This doctor finally gave his approval.
Robert was born in 1926 in one of the worse snow storms in northern Michigan on a poor rural farm. The doctor was making his way through this storm on his homemade snow mobile when it broke down. Fortunately, a farmer with a team of horses and a wagon rescue the doctor and was able to get the doctor just in time to deliver young Robert, who was born a blue baby.
Robert started his own general construction company after the war. He built public schools and other public buildings and hired veterans to work for his company. Robert stated, “I survived the war, so I can survive anything life has to throw at me.”
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