A native Michigander, Charles D. Long was born in Grand Blanc on June 14, 1841. As a youth, he was educated at local schools and prepared himself to enter the University of Michigan. During this time, Long also taught school in order to help others, as well as further his preparation for college. When the Civil War began, however, his plans were drastically altered.
Long enlisted in Company A of the 8th Michigan Infantry. On April 16, 1862, he sustained two severe wounds at the Battle of Wilmington Island, Georgia. He lost his left arm and a bullet was lodged in his inner thigh, where it remained for the rest of his life. Long’s bravery and strength have been noted by many in dealing with such a terrifying situation. Upon his return from the war, Long began studying law, and in 1864 was elected County Clerk for Genesee County. In 1874, Long was elected Prosecuting Attorney and was appointed in 1880 as a census supervisor for Michigan.
In 1887, Long was appointed Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. In addition, he was elected in 1891 to be the first president of the Detroit College of Law. Long’s service on the Bench was interrupted when the pain from his wounds grew to be too much to bear. He took a short break from his work on the Court, intending to return in the fall, but he died on June 27, 1902. Toward the end of his life, Long was engaged in various legal battles over his pension rights as a Civil War veteran. (Michigan Supreme Court. Michigan Reports: Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Michigan. Chicago: Callaghan and Co., 1879 – 1949, Vol. 131.)
Memorial and Portrait presented on: (Click link to read transcript)
October 7, 1902
Oil on canvas
74.61cm X 62.23cm (29 3/8″ X 24 1/2″)
State of Michigan
Hall of Justice – 1st Floor:
Portrait photo by:
Douglas Elbinger – June 1996