Heinrich or Henry Bruer was born on February 2, 1821 in Schlaseberg or Braunschweig, Germany.
He was married to Dutch-born Mary (1825-1863) and they had at least five children: Katy (b. 1847), Mary (b. 1849), Henry (b. 1855), Milo (b. 1857) and Elisabeth (b. 1859).
Henry and Mary were probably married in the Netherlands (thrier first three children were born in Holland). Henry emigrated to the United States in 1853, arriving at Baltimore, Maryland on August 23.
Henry and his family eventually settled in Michigan sometime before 1855 when their son Henry was born and by 1860 Henry was living and working as a farmer and living with his family in Coopersville, Ottawa County.
Henry stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 35 years old and was possibly living in Eastmanville when he enlisted on May 23, 1861 in Company C. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for consumption on November 29, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.
Following his discharge from the army Henry returned to his home in Eastmanville where he reentered the service in Company G, 21st infantry on August 2, 1862 for 3 years, crediting and giving his residence as Polkton Township (probably Eastmanville), Ottawa County, and was mustered on September 3 at Ionia, Ionia County. The regiment was organized at Ionia and Grand Rapids and mustered into service on September 9, and left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky, on September 12. The 21st was involved in the battle for Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8. Henry was present for duty through October of 1862, and was on detached service with Hancock’s Battery in December of 1862, but was back with the regiment through the winter and spring of 1863, probably at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where the regiment was on duty until June of 1863. Probably in April of 1863, Henry was sent to the hospital, suffering from inflammation of the lungs, and was discharged for inflammation of the lungs on May 4, 1863 at Murfreesboro.
Henry returned to Eastmanville following his discharge from the army.
After Ellen died in Eastmanville in April of 1863, Henry married a woman by the name of Caroline (1826-1920), and they had at least one child: Louis (b. 1866). Caroline had been married once before.
Henry applied for a pension in Ottawa County in June of 1863, no. 144,153, drawing $4.00 per month by 1877.
He eventually left Michigan and moved to Minnesota, settling in Courtland, Nicollet County, by the summer of 1870; he was still living in Courtland in 1875. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son and stepson John in Courtland; in 1885 Henry was living with Caroline and Louis in Courtland.
Henry died at Courtland, Minnesota, on May 23, 1893, and was buried in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, in Courtland.
Henry’s widow received pension no. 421902; she was living in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, in 1894 and 1913.