Prussia

Edward Seeland

Edward Seeland was born on June 7, 1840, in Prussia.

Edward immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan by the time the war broke out.

He stood 5’8’ with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old carpenter probably living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 chronic rheumatism and mumps on December 16, 1861, at Camp Michigan, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army Edward subsequently returned to Grand Rapids where he reentered the service in Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 17, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ Second Ward, and was mustered on January 2, 1864. Edward probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennesse where it was on engineering duty as well as at Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etc., till May, 1864. The Regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September when it was ordered to Atlanta, Ga., September 25. Old members were mustered out October 31, 1864.

It remained on duty at Atlanta September 28 to November 15; and participated in the March to the sea destroying railroad track, bridges and repairing and making roads November 15-December 10; in the siege of Savannah December 10-21, in the Carolina Campaign January to April, 1865; in the advance on Raleigh April 10-14, and occupation of Raleigh April 14; in the surrender of Johnston and his army. The regiment then marched to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20, and was in the Grand Review on May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June 6; then to Nashville, Tenn. Duty at Nashville July 1 to September 22.

Edward was promoted to Artificer on August 1, 1865, and was mustered out with the regiment on September 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. The regiment was discharged at Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan on October 1.

Edward again returned to Grand Rapids where for many years he worked as a carpenter.

He married Anna B. Stach on January 22, 1872, and divorced from her on October 18, 1907; they had eleven children: Annie or Lillie (b. 1877), Fred (b. 1885), Carl (b. 1887), Chancey (b. 1890), Mabel (b. 1892) and Roy (b. 1894); and five who died in infancy.

He was a devout Protestant and by 1912 was a minister of the gospel. In 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 428,140.

At some point Edward lived in Washington, DC, and was living in South Hannibal, Missouri in 1880 and 1882. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3887) for the first time on September 9, 1902, and discharged at his own request on June 14, 1904, readmitted on June 19, 1905, and discharged May 28, 1906. Following a second readmission he was dropped on June 20, 1908, and in 1912 he was living in St. Louis, Missouri. He also lived in Salt Lake city, Utah and at 2148 Curtis Street in Denver, Colorado in 1915.

He was living in Chicago, Illinois, when he died of heart disease on July 24, 1917, probably at his home at 301 Aberdeen Street in Chicago and was buried on July 27 in Elmwood cemetery in Chicago.

William Schumacher

William Schumacher was born in 1840 in Prussia.

William immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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.)

William was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized in New York City. On June 30 he was discharged from City Hospital in New York City, returned to the Regiment and was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. In May he was a Division provost guard, in June a provost guard at Corps headquarters through July and he reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids.

William was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred as Corporal to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was wounded on June 16 near Petersburg, Virginia, and died of his wounds on June 18 or 19 in a field hospital near Petersburg. William was first buried on the Henry Bryan farm near Meade Station, Virginia, but then reinterred in City Point National Cemetery: grave no. 44.

In 1890 his mother applied for a pension (no. 481078) but the certificate was never granted.

John Peter Scheidt

John Peter Scheidt was born in 1829 in Prussia.

John immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 32-year-old farmer probably living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 admitted to the Regimental hospital the night of July 22, 1861, following the battle of Bull Run, Virginia on July 21, and he remained hospitalized in Arlington, Virginia until he was discharged for consumption on November 19, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army, John returned to Allegan County. He married French-born Catharine Manes (1843-1875), and they had at least two children: Caroline or Helena (b. 1869), John (b. 1870), Margaretta (b. 1871) and Mathias (b. 1874).

By 1870 John was working as a farmer (he owned $1200 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and two children in Salem, Allegan County. Following the death of his first wife he was married to Anna Mary or Amy (1828-1911) on November 19, 1876. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his second wife and children in Salem; also living with them was his step-son John Gillis (?). In fact John lived in (New) Salem from 1865 until his death in 1898.

In 1882 he applied for and received a pension (no. 442,383 drawing $12.00 per month in 1897.

John died of Bright’s disease at Salem, on January 17, 1898, and was buried in St. Mary’s cemetery in Salem on January 20.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 510341).

Thomas Schneider - updated 3/22/2015

Based on a review of pension records: 

Thomas Schneider was born in 1832 in Prussia.

Thomas emigrated from Prussia to the United States, possibly along with an older brother Mathias and his family, eventually settling in Michigan sometime before 1853, probably in Detroit. He was probably also related to one John Baptiste Schneider (1818-1896).

Thomas was probably living in Detroit when he married Prussian-born Margaret Spielers (1829-1909) on July 8, 1854, at St. Mary’s church in Detroit, and they had at least five children: Jacob (b. 1854), Frank (b. 1856), Susan (b. 1858), John (b. 1860) and Theodore (b. 1862). By 1860 Thomas was working as a farmer living with his wife and three children in Dorr, Allegan County.

He was 29 years old and still residing in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 immigrants.)

According to Captain Israel Geer, commanding Company C in the spring of 1864, Thomas was taken sick on August 15, 1862. He was reported absent sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through November, and sick in a Washington, DC hospital from December of 1862 through January of 1863. According to 3rd Michigan regimental surgeon Dr. James Grove, Thomas was admitted to the regimental hospital at Upton’s Hill, Virginia about October 5, 1862 suffering form inflammation of the lungs. Five days later he was transferred to the corps hospital and, according to Dr. Grove, “has not been in this command since.”

Thomas probably remained hospitalized through May of the following year and was reported sick in Hammond hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland in June. Although he was carried on Hammond hospital’s rolls in July, he reportedly died July 9, 1863, in the National Hotel hospital run by Dr. Zenas Bliss’ (formerly Regimental surgeon in the 3rd Michigan) in Baltimore, Maryland, although other sources claim he died at Hammond Hospital. He may have been buried at Point Lookout, although there is no record of his internment there or in any of the Baltimore cemeteries.

In September of 1863 his widow was living in Grand Rapids when she applied for and received a pension (no. 23318). The following year she remarried to George Steinemann of Manistee. She remarried to John Becker who was listed in 1864 as guardian (no. 42343) when he filed an application on behalf of at least one minor child.

Margaret was probably living in Grand Rapids in 1892 under the name of the widow Schneider, when she married Anthony Van de Kirkhoff in Grand Rapids.

Andrew J. Sauter

Andrew J. Sauter was born on November 5, 1830, in Prussia.

Andrew immigrated to America, and eventually settled in western Michigan by the time the war had broken out.

He stood 5’5” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was a 30-year-old fisherman possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 first reported as killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but in fact, he was was shot in the head and left eye and taken prisoner at Second Bull Run. He was paroled near the battlefield on September 4. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,

Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.

As of October 6, 1862, he was convalescing in College hospital in Georgetown, DC, preparing to go home on furlough. He was admitted on January 2, 1863, to Chestnut Hill hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suffering from a gunshot wound to the left eye, and was discharged on February 18, 1863, at Chestnut Hill hospital, for “musket ball wound in the left eye.”

Although he listed Grand Haven, Ottawa County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, Andrew soon moved to Muskegon.

He was living in Muskegon when he married Mrs. Johanna F. Teichgraeber (1840-1918) on June 15, 1863; they had at least two children: Mary (b. 1867), Anna (b. 1869), Emma (b. 1871), Maggie (b. 1872), a son (b. 1874) and Frank (b. 1876).

In 1863 he began operating a bowling alley in Muskegon. He later became a farmer in Dalton, Muskegon County where he lived for many years; by 1870 (listed as “Souder”) he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and two daughters in Dalton in 1870. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living in Dalton with his wife and children.

In 1863 he applied for and received pension no. 44,528, dated February of 1875, drawing $18.00 per month in 1883, and became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Kearny post no. 7 in Muskegon in 1884.

Andrew died of stomach cancer on March 10, 1885 in Dalton and was buried in Evergreen cemetery, Muskegon: 1-10-1 (there is no record of this burial).

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 253687). His widow was living in Dalton, Muskegon County in 1890.

Joseph Miller (1)

Joseph Miller (1) was born in 1839 in Coblenz, Prussia.

Joseph immigrated to America and eventually settled in Michigan by the time the war broke out.

He stood 5’5” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was 22 years old and probably a farmer in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 reported as “off-duty” beginning on April 25, 1862, and he may very well have remained “off-duty” through September when he was listed sick in the hospital. He allegedly deserted on October 23 at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, when in fact, he was still in the hospital. He was discharged on December 9, 1862, at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, for “spinal irritation, attacks of quickened respiration sometimes as often as 140/minute.”

Joseph returned to Clinton County where he reentered the service in L company, First Michigan Light Artillery on February 4, 1864, at Westphalia for 3 years, crediting Westphalia, and was mustered on February 5 at Corunna, Shiawassee County. He probably joined the battery at the Cumberland Gap where it remained on duty until June 27 when it was moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where it remained until August of 1865. He was absent sick in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 25, and allegedly deserted from the hospital on November 15, 1864. He surrendered himself to authorities on April 18, 1865, under the President’s proclamation of amnesty and was discharged on May 15, 1865, at Madison, Wisconsin.

There is no further record.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1042774).

Herman Kusig - updated 7/16/2017

Herman Kusig was born on November 30, 1833, in Prussia.

Herman came to America in 1856, and in 1858 purchased 20 acres of land in Muskegon County, and an additional 40 acres the following year. By 1860 he was a shingle-maker working for and/or living with the Asa Sipps family in Ravenna, Muskegon County.

He stood 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 28 years old and probably still living in Ravenna when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was shot in the left shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was hospitalized as of October 6 in Union Hotel hospital in Georgetown, DC. He was soon transferred to the hospital at Fort McHenry, Maryland where he remained through February of 1863. He eventually returned to the Regiment and was reported as a Corporal when he was taken prisoner on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville.

Herman returned to the Regiment in October, was absent on furlough from October 23 but had returned to the Regiment when he was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864.

It appears that at one point while home on furlough he married Scottish-born Agnes or Ann Rose (1848-1881), and they had at least six children: Myrtle (b. 1867), Carrie B. (b. 1868), Risa C. (b. 1871), Jennie (b. 1875, Margaret (b. 1878) and Gracie F. (1880). Agnes was quite possibly a sister of the wife of John Eadie also of Company K.

Herman probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was reported absent sick in February but had rejoined the Regiment before the spring campaign of 1864.

Herman was shot in the right side on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and on May 11 was sent to Queen Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. On June 7 he was transferred to Haddington hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Herman was still absent in the hospital when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and on either December 20, 1864, or March 13, 1865, he was transferred to the Forty-sixth company, Second Regiment Veterans’ Reserve Corps at Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was discharged from Mower hospital on June 17, 1865.

Following his discharge from the army, Herman returned to Ravenna where he farmed for the rest of his life. In 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife Agnes in Ravenna and still farming and living with his wife and children in Ravenna in 1880. He was living in Ravenna in 1890.

Herman married his second wife, a housekeeper by the name of Mrs. Elizabeth Peffers Holmes (1843-1923), at the Children of Zion church in Grand Rapids, on April 11, 1888.

He received pension no. 76,598, drawing $40.00 per month by 1883 for a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Herman was reportedly very active in local school affairs, and was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He was still living in Ravenna in 1894.

Herman died of paralysis of the heart in Ravenna on October 7, 1897, and was buried in Ravenna cemetery: section B, grave no. 6.

In late October Elizabeth was living in Michigan when she applied for a pension (no. 664675), but the certificate was apparently never granted. She was working as a farmer and still living in Ravenna in 1900 (she had a daughter named Maggie Quackenbush living with her as well as two farm laborers).



George Korten - update 5/2/2017

George Korten was born on November 4, 1845, in Prussia, the son of German-born William and Wilhemina (b. 1807).

George immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan by 1864.

He stood 5’10” with black eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old blacksmith possibly living in Ada, Kent County when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 18, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Ada, and was mustered January 19. He was transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and reported as absent sick in July. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

George eventually returned to Michigan and eventually settled in Negaunee, Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula, where he worked for many years as a blacksmith. (In 1880 there was a widow named Wilhemina Korten, b. c. 1807 in Germany, living in Negaunee. Also living with her was her daughter Bertha Korten, b. c. 1856 in Michigan and son William Korten, b. c. 1831 in Germany.

George was living in Ispheming, Marquette County when he married 16-year-old Scottish-born Catharine Hazel (b. 1853) on May 20, 1879, in Ispheming, and they had at least three children: Archibald “Archy” (b. 1882), Martha A. (b. 1883), Ida May (b. 1884) and Agnes (1887-1888). Bertha Korten was a witness as the wedding.

He was still living in Michigan in 1889 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 785422), and by 1900 was drawing $12.00 per month. By 1890 he was living in Negaunee, Marquette County and he was listed as divorced and still living in Negaunee in 1900; also living with him was his son Archy and his brother Ernest Korten (b. c. 1845 in Germany). George was living in Negaunee’s 5th Ward when he was admitted

as a married man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3521) in Grand Rapids, on November 29, 1900, and was still living in the Home in 1901. (Curiously, however, only his three children were listed as nearest relatives.) He apparently knew William Zilky, another member of the Home and a former member of Company C.

George was a Lutheran.

George was listed as a widower when he died in Grand Rapids on December 11, 1903. According to one source,

George Korten, aged 60 years, a member of the Soldiers’ home, died very suddenly yesterday afternoon at Joseph Weston’s home in the basement of No. 61 South Commerce Street. Coroner Hilliker investigated the case and will hold a post mortem examination this morning. Weston claims that Korten came to his home yesterday afternoon and complained of being ill. He was known to Weston and the latter allowed him to occupy a bed. Weston says he returned at 5:30 o’clock and found Korten dead.

Korten had been ill for some weeks at the Sailors’ home, but was discharged from the hospital as recovered a few days ago. Authorities at the home say that Wednesday [December 9] Korten drew his pension money amounting to about $38 and took it away with him when he went to the city yesterday. Only 40 cents was found in his possession. As he was not a drinking man, the police believe that he may have been robbed. Korten has two daughters in Jackson and one son in Marquette, Mich.

In fact, George died of a heart attack. He was buried in the Soldier’s Home cemetery: block 4, row 15, grave 33.

August Heyer - uppdated 11/8/11

August Heyer was born May 14 or 16, 1842 in Charnica, Prussia, the son of John (b. 1815) and Henrietta (b. 1825).

Prussian-born John and Henrietta were presumably married in Prussia and sometime in the early 1850s took their family and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Grand Rapids by 1856. They lived at 729 Second Street in the Fourth Ward, and by 1860 August was still living with his family on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids in the Second Street home and was working as a laborer as was his father (it is also possible that John worked as a shoemaker). August would eventually become employed as a cooper. (Next door lived a German family named Hauser and living with them was a 16-year-old servant girl named Mary Ann Bohr. This may have been the same Emma or Anna Bohr whom August would later marry.)

August stood 5’8” with brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was a 19-year-old cooper probably still living with his family in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of his parents’ as Third Corporal in Company C on May 13, 1861. (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 reported as a Color Guard in July of 1862, and was shot in the right leg on August 29 at Second Bull Run. According to family historian Deb Trinter, “the doctor wanted to amputate August Heyer’s leg but he refused to let the doctor do it. The doctor told him he would probably die if they didn’t amputate it, but he still refused to let the doctor take his leg. Although he walked with a limp the rest of his life, he kept his leg.” In any case, the musket ball entered “on the outside and a little in front about a foot above the knee and [came] out at the back side cutting the cords. . . .” Shortly afterwards he was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spending one night in Washington along the way. August remained hospitalized until he was discharged on December 19, 1862, at Christian Street hospital in Philadelphia for “lameness of right leg resulting from gunshot wound.”

August listed Grand Rapids as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he returned to his home in Kent County where he married Prussian-born Emma (1843-1925) Bohr on April 5, 1863, and they had at least twelve children: Gustave (1864-1931), George (1865-1931), Charles (1867-1961), Philomena (“Mena,” 1870-1935, Mrs. L. G. Rupprecht), John (1872-1960), Mary (1874-1924, Mrs. Max Miller), Helena (1877-1923, Mrs. Paul Lambrix), Joseph (1879-1959), Clara (1881-1961, Mrs. Alfred Luttig), Rosalia (1882-1941, Mrs. Joseph Rupprecht), Julia (b. 1885, Mrs. Edwin Finckler) and Bertha (b. 1890, Mrs. Leo Herrmann).

For some years August worked as an “assembler.” He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 Grand Rapids and in religious matters he was early in life a Lutheran (his wife was Catholic) and toward the end of his life he converted to Catholicism.

By 1870 August had settled his family in Westphalia, Clinton County where he worked as a farmer and as a cooper. (His parents were living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1870.) “‘After Westphalia was incorporated in 1882, [August] became Marshal and for many years was chief of the local fire department. This last statement may cause the younger generation to smile but in all fairness it should be stated that the firemen, about 15 in number, in their neat uniforms, together with their chief made a creditable showing whenever they made their appearance on the Streets in fire drills. They usually drilled on Saturday evenings during the summer months’.”

He was still living in Westphalia in 1883 when he was drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded leg (pension no. 124,633), and in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and in 1888 and 1890. Although he may have returned briefly to Grand Rapids around 1893, he probably lived in Westphalia until about 1906 when he was back residing in Grand Rapids, at 263 Second Street. He was living his old home at 729 Second Street in 1915, 1916 and 1922-25.

August died of angina pectoris and asthma on Thursday night, June 17, 1925, just a week after his wife’s death, the two having been married 63 years. He passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Luttig, 342 Marion Avenue, northwest, in Grand Rapids. The funeral services were held at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning at St. Mary’s Church, and he was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section D, lot no. 203.

Auguste Heyer and his wife Emma and their 12 children (courtesy Jean Kolb)

Julius Carl Faenger

Julius Carl Faenger, also known as “Finger,” “Fonger,” “Fanger” or “Faehger,” was born November 23, 1826 in Berlin, Prussia.

Julius’ parents were both born in Prussia. In any case, Julius eventually left Prussia and immigrated to the United States, possibly around 1856, and eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1857.

He married Neu Darmstadt native Margaret or Margarette Schaefer (1830-1907), on March 11, 1858, at the First German Evangelical Lutheran church of Immanuel in Grand Rapids.

The following year, in October of 1859 he joined the Grand Rapids Rifles, commanded by Captain Chris. Kusterer. (The GRR or “German Rifles” would serve as the nucleus for Company C of the Third Michigan infantry.) By 1860 Julius was working as a currier and living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward.

Julius was 34 years old and still residing in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as First Sergeant in Company C on May 13, 1861. Julius was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company E on October 26, 1862, at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, commissioned as of April 26, replacing Lieutenant Byron Hess. Julius was transferred back to Company C by Regimental order No. 6 in January of 1863, and was on a leave of absence granted from Third Corps headquarters beginning March 22, 1863; he remained absent through April of 1863.

Julius eventually returned to the regiment and was shot by a minie ball in the left elbow on November 20, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia. He was admitted from the Regimental hospital on December 4 to Third Division hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, with a “gunshot wound of left elbow joint with fracture of radius.” According to hospital records, his “arm remained swollen & painful for some time. Poultices were applied giving much relief. Afterwards cold water dressings were applied & passive motion made as soon as expedient, but considerable stiffness of the joint resulted notwithstanding.” By the first of February 1864, his wounds were “entirely healed up,” and he was given a furlough for 30 days from February 8, 1864. Julius probably returned home to Grand Rapids. In any case, he returned to the hospital in Alexandria on March 9, and remained hospitalized until he was transferred to a hospital in Washington, DC, on April 27. He resigned his commission on May 28, 1864, at Washington, DC, on account of his wounds.

After his discharge Julius returned to Grand Rapids where he spent the remainder of his life. In 1865-66 he was keeping a saloon at no. 76 Canal Street, and in 1868-69 he was living on the north side of Coldbrook, near the railroad. In 1870 he was working as a laborer (and owned $8000 in real estate) and living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward, and by 1880 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife in the Fourth Ward. He was living in Grand Rapids at 288 Ottawa Street in the Fourth Ward in 1888, 1889, in 1890 and 1894.

Julius was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids, and a member of the German Lutheran (now Immanuel Lutheran) church at the corner of Division and Michigan Streets. He received pension no. 42,851, drawing $11.25 per month in 1883 for a wounded left arm, and provided affidavits in the pension applications of former Third Michigan soldier Mathias Baeker and the widow of Jacob Stegg, former Band-member of the Old Third. He was also a member of the German Veterans’ Association.

On September 16, 1890, the Grand Rapids Democrat reported that

A score or so of German veterans of the late war met in the reading room of the Bridge Street House last evening for the purpose of making arrangements for a turn out on German day, October 6. Julius Fenger acted as chairman of the meeting and Julius Caesar as secretary. The following were appointed a general committee of arrangements: August Schmidt [formerly in Company C], Henry Schnabel, Julius Rathman, Julius Fenger [formerly of Company C], Ely Koehler, A. Rash, Frank Muhlenberg [formerly in Company C], Gustav Landau, Julius Caesar. Ward committees will also be appointed. The intention is to take part in the parade on German day. None but actual veterans of the war of the rebellion and native Germans will be permitted to take part in the parade, and these will be provided with special badges and will march under the United States flag. This is intended as an emphatic declaration of loyalty and patriotism of German citizens. There are about 200 German vets in the city. Veterans from out of town will also be invited to participate. The headquarters of the German Brigade will be at the Bridge Street House. Another meeting will be held next Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock at Arbeiter Hall to further perfect arrangements.

On Wednesday June 22, 1904, Julius died of septic uremia at his home at 288 Ottawa Street in Grand Rapids. The funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday June 25, at his home (by Stein & Alt undertakers), and at 2:00 p.m. at the German Lutheran church. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section D lot no. 95.

Ferdinand Eichoff

Ferdinand Eichoff, also known as “Eikhoff”, was born 1830 in Prussia, possibly the son of John and Catharine.

Sometime before 1855 Ferdinand left Prussia and immigrated to the United States.

He was married to Prussian-born Ann Catharine Winterhalter (1835-1870) and they had at least four children: Joseph (b. 1855), Ann or Anna (b. 1857), Louisa (b. 1861) and Lizzie (b. 1864). His wife Ann was possibly the sister of Stephen Winterhalter who would also enlist in Company C.

By 1855 they had settled in western Michigan, and in 1859-60 Ferdinand was working as a grocer living on the west side of Front between Second and Third Streets, on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Kent County. On July 19, 1859, Ferdinand joined the newly organized Grand Rapids Rifles (or “German Rifles”), commanded by Captain Chris. Kusterer. (The GRR would serve as the nucleus for Company C of the Third Michigan infantry.)

In 1860 Ferdinand was working as a grocer and living with his wife and two children in the Fourth Ward; also living with them was one Mary Ann Eickhoff, probably a younger sister. His father John was also living in the Fourth Ward and working as a harness-maker, probably for the blacksmith Anton Thiele. In 1860 John Eichoff, age 69, was working as a harness-maker in Grand Rapids Fourth Ward.

Ferdinand stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 31 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged for a “broken down constitution” on July 17, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Ferdinand returned to Grand Rapids and from 1865-68 he was employed in harness-making (possibly with his father), and living at 25 First Street (on the south side) between Broadway and Turner Streets on the west side of the Grand River. By 1868-69 Ferdinand was working as a harness-maker for Willibald Voss & Co., at 123 Canal Street, and living on the northwest corner of Turner and Elizabeth Streets, west side. He was working as a harness-maker and living with his four children (his son Joseph was working as a clerk in store) in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1870. He continued to work for Voss until his death in 1878.

He and his wife were both members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.

Ferdinand remarried German native Catharine Koenig (b. 1840) on May 2, 1871, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least three children: Mary Catharine (b. 1875), Mary Matilda (b. 1877) and Ferdinand Stephen (b. 1879).

Ferdinand died of heart disease on Friday, July 5, 1878 at his home at 19 Broadway in Grand Rapids. According to one report, on July 4, Eichoff worked a short time in the morning, which “was passed very pleasantly by him.” When he woke up on the morning of July 5, “feeling as though a glass of lemonade would taste good he went a short distance after it and returning to his house complained of not feeling well, and in a few minutes and almost unknown to those around he was a corpse.”

Ferdinand “was an old and much respected German resident and his sudden ‘taking off’ will be deeply mourned by his distressed family and a large circle of friends and acquaintances.”

The funeral service was held at his home at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6 and he was buried by local undertaker William Koch (who had served in the Third Michigan during the war) in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section 5 lot no. 8. (The death certificate erroneously lists St. Andrews cemetery as his place of interment.)

His widow Catharine applied for and received a pension (no. 361588).

Nicholas Contor

Nicholas Contor, also known as “Canton”, “Courter” or “Konter”, was born 1836 in Prussia.

Nicholas immigrated to the United States, and eventually settled in Michigan. He was probably working as a farmer and living in Grand Rapids’ First Ward just before the war broke out.

He stood 6’0” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 28 years old when he enlisted in Company C on January 5, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the following day. (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.)

On paper Nicholas joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. In fact, it appears that he never left te state of Michigan. He was listed as absent sick in November, and was reported as having died on October 23, 1864, of disease at Detroit, and was buried in Elmwood cemetery: section K, no. 29.

No pension seems to be available.

Anton Brand

Anton Brand was born October 25, 1832, in Prussia.

Anton immigrated to the United States, possibly settling in Chicago or perhaps Blue Island, Illinois, and was working for one Henry Massey, perhaps in Blue Island from 1858 to 1859; by 1860 Anton was reportedly living near Henry. That same year it appears that Anton was probably working as a laborer for a wealthy farmer named Benjamin Taylor in Worth, Cook County, Illinois.

In any case, he stood 5’7” with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was a 29-year-old farmer who had possibly just moved to Michigan from Chicago, when he enlisted in Company B on December 27, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23. He probably joined the Regiment at their winter camp in Virginia, sometime in early 1862, and was sick in the hospital from August (probably from the 14th) of 1862 through September. He allegedly deserted on October 28, 1862, at Edward’s Ford or Ferry, Maryland, and was consequently dropped from the rolls of the company on October 23, by G.O. 162.

In fact Anton was discharged on November 28, 1862, at Fort McHenry hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for “chronic hepatitis & injury of right eye, he says caused by a piece of gun cap flying in it, while on duty at or near Richmond, Virginia, June 10, 1862.”

After his discharge from the Army Anton probably returned to Chicago where he reentered the military in Company D, Eighth Illinois cavalry, for three years, on January 14th, 1864. While he was serving with the regiment at Muddy Branch, Virginia, “a film spread over his eyes, preventing him from seeing clear[ly], so that he can scarcely walk without assistance in directing his steps.” He was honorably discharged at Fairfax, Virginia, on January 17, 1865.

Anton soon returned to Chicago and was residing at a boarding house at 494 Clark Street by February of 1865; he appeared to be unemployed (possibly as a consequence of his vision problems). In any case, it seems that Anton lived the remainder of his life in Chicago; by March of 1915, he was living at 3529 66th Street settled back in Chicago, where he lived the rest of his life.

He was married to Elizabeth (d. 1905), at 12th & Blue Island avenues in Chicago, and they had at least five children: John (1868-1910), Leo (1870-1882), Peter (b. 1872), Mary (b. 1874) and Lena (b. 1878).

He was a Catholic.

In 1865 he applied for and received pension no. 397,032, dated September of 1883, drawing $50 per month by 1921.

Anton’s eyes continued to deteriorate over the years after he left the army. According to Nicholas Schlesser, who boarded with Anton in 1865, , his right eyesight “was totally useless for some months after his return, but improved under treatment and he had hopes that it would be permanently cured. It did not turn out that way, however, . . .” Indeed, Anton’s vision problems got progressively worse. He began seeing Dr. Frederick Roesch, in about June of 1866, and Roesch stated in 1884 that he remembered Anton’s case particularly well, “for it was one of my first patients in Chicago.” Anton “complained of suffering of great pain in [the right] eye” and Roesch “found a marked ceratitis. On edge of cornea an exudation was forming extending partially over the cornea, impairing in consequence the vision considerably. Sclerolica [?] appeared rough, uneven on part where exudation commenced giving it the appearance of a cicatrice. Did not give him any encouragement regarding a recovery. Had seen him frequently during a period of 6 years, but did not prescribe anything for his eye after first consultation.”

His son John reported to the Pension Bureau in 1899 that he had “to attend to my father or have my sister do so whenever he has to go beyond the usual round of home he is not confined to either house or head [?] but because of poor eyesight is unable to care for himself outside of the usual well-known walks around home.” Sometime around 1915 Anton may have suffered a stroke and had to have constant care, probably by his daughter Lena.

Anton was a widower residing at 7143 S. Oakley Avenue in Chicago when he died of a cancerous growth on his throat and nose, on January 6, 1921, and was  buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Adolph Emil and Charles Birkenstock

Adolph Emil Birkenstock was born October 20, 1821, in Cosel, Prussia.

Adolph immigrated to the United States and by 1850 he had settled in New York and was working as a tanner and living in Buffalo’s Fourth Ward, Erie County, New York; also living with him were two other immigrants from Germany: Fredericka Birkenstock (b. 1822) and Louise Lange (b. 1830).

Adolph eventually settled in western Michigan by about the mid-1850s, but apparently returned to western New York where he married 15- or 16-year-old Canadian-born Laura Eliza Otley (1839-1919) in Lewiston, Niagara County, New York on June 30, 1856, and they had at least four children: Mary (b. 1859), Gertrude (b. 1861), Laura E. (b. 1866) and Martha O. (b. 1869); Adolph’s brother Charles was one of the witnesses at the wedding. (See his biographical sketch below.)

That same year Adolph was reportedly living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and advertising his services as a “professor of music”. In 1857 Adolph became involved with the Musical Association of Grand Rapids and was frequently employed as a pianist for various social functions. In 1859-60 he was working as a music teacher and musician residing on the west side of Lafayette between Bridge and Hastings Streets in Grand Rapids.

Besides his interest in music Adolph showed enthusiasm for political matters as well. He was also a member of the German Democratic Club and he was one of the founding members of a Grand Rapids militia company composed almost entirely of German immigrants living in the west side of the Grand River. In mid-July of 1859 the Grand Rapids Rifles (GRR), also known as the “German Rifles”, was formally organized and Adolph was elected as First Lieutenant. He served with the company until the summer of 1860 when, for reasons unknown, he resigned.

Nevertheless the following year Adolph rejoined his old comrades in the GRR and became the first Captain of Company C, Third Michigan Infantry, also known as the “German” company since more than 60% of its members were German immigrants, mostly from the west side of the Grand River. (Curiously, not one of the three officers of the prewar “German Rifles” enlisted in the Third Michigan in April of 1861, including Captain “Chris” Kusterer, the local brewer, who had led the GRR since its organization in 1859.) Adolph’s wife had apparently returned to New York around 1861 when their daughter Gertrude was born.

Adolph stood 6’2” with brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, was 39 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Captain of Company C on May 13, 1861. (Adolph also enlisted his younger brother Charles into Company C on June 14 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while the Regiment was en route to Washington.) Less than two weeks after the regiment arrived in Washington, however, Adolph resigned his commission on June 30, 1861, citing disability.

It is not known whether Adolph returned to western Michigan, but he did go to New York where he reentered the service in November of 1861 or on January 12, 1862, as a Private in Company C, One Hundred and Third New York infantry on for 3 years, and was promoted to Second Sergeant, possibly in February. In later years, Adolph claimed that while “in the field near Newbern NC in spring of 1862 I contracted southern malaria,” and that he had been “treated by reg’t surgeon named Kreuter.”

Adolph was discharged as Second Sergeant along with his company by order of General Ambrose Burnside on May 8, 1862, probably at New Berne, North Carolina. According to the War Department, Adjutant General’s office, “Members of this co. [C] were mustered out by way of favor, May 8, 1862, and at their own request, they claiming to have been enlisted under false promises by Capt. Quentin, and showing an unwillingness to serve in their respective grades.” There is no other information on the circumstance of this rather unusual “request”.

Apparently Adolph reentered the service a third time, as Captain on July 25, 1863 in Unassigned, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, and was mustered in the same day.

After he left the army Adolph eventually settled in Guttenberg, Hudson County, New Jersey where he worked for some years as a teacher. He and his wife were living in New Jersey by 1866 and by 1870 he was working as a bookkeeper and living with his wife and daughters in Union, Hudson County, New Jersey.

He received a pension claiming that he had never recovered from his bout with malaria and that he was “greatly disabled for manual labor”.

Adolph died on May 26, 1880, of typhoid malaria, which he probably contracted while in the army, and was buried in Grove church cemetery, presumably in Guttenberg.
His wife received a pension (no. 335,098, she was drawing $8.00 per month increased to $20.00 in 1916 and $25.00 by 1919).

Laura remained in Guttenberg and for about seven years after Adolph’s death serving as postmistress and ran a “small family store”; in 1880 she was reported as running both a “dry & fancy store” as well as the post office in Guttenberg, and Gertrude, Laura and Martha were all residing with her. Martha was in school but also suffering from malaria. In 1889-90 Laura was living at 343 Park Avenue. After her term was up in the post office she sold the store and kept house for her daughters who worked in New York City. She was residing in Hudson County, New Jersey in 1890 and at 1219 Washington Street in Hoboken, New Jersey where she died in October of 1919.

Charles Birkenstock was born 1828, probably in Prussia.

Charles was probably living in New York state in 1856 when he was a witness at the wedding of his brother Adolph in Lewiston, Niagara County, New York.

Charles 33 years old and living in New York when he arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he enlisted in Company C on June 14, 1861, joining his older brother Captain A. E. Birkenstock also of Company C. In fact it was his brother Adolph who enlisted Charles when the Regiment passed through Pittsburgh on June 14 heading for Washington, DC.

Charles was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and in September was detailed to the Brigade commissary where he worked as a clerk through December. In January of 1863 he was a cattle guard, and by April was absent sick in the hospital. He reportedly deserted on September 16 or 17, 1863, in New York City, just as the Regiment was returning from detached duty in Troy, New York.

Charles was arrested at Washington, DC on December 17, 1864, and subsequently court martialled. He claimed in a statement given on January 17, 1865, while in the Washington Street military prison in Alexandria, Virginia, that since he joined the Regiment four days after they had been mustered into United States service (the regiment had been mustered into federal service on June 10 by Colonel E. Backus) he had therefore never been “officially” mustered into United States service and was not in fact in the army at all. The court thought differently, however, and he was found guilty and sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances to the time he was arrested and make the good what time was lost by desertion. He was sent to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry (reported to have returned from desertion on March 9, 1865) and was mustered out on May 31, 1865, having apparently “made good the time lost” by his desertion.

No pension (for service in the Old Third or in a New York regiment) seems to be available.

Mathias Baeker

Mathias Baeker, also known as “Becker”, was born 1836 in Prussia.

As a young man Mathias immigrated to the United States and by the late 1850s had settled in western Michigan. He was living in Grand Rapids when he married Prussian-born Theresa Lux (b. 1838) on February 7 or 11, 1857, in Grand Rapids; the ceremony was performed by Rev. Francis Cuming (who would become the first chaplain in the Third Michigan). Mathias and Theresa had at least ten children: Albert J. (b. 1857), Wilhelm J. (b. 1859), Edward V.M. (b. 1861), Mathilda (b. 1863), Pauline (b. 1865), Augustina (b. 1869), Delia (b. 1877), Maggie (b. 1878), Frank L. (b. 1880) and Hiram (b. 1883).

In 1860 Mathias and his wife were residing in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward where he worked as a cooper.

Mathias was 25 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Second Sergeant in Company C on May 23, 1861. (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.)

Mathias claimed that during the battle of First Bull Run, on July 21, 1861, he was injured by being ruptured, “which extended into the scrotum by the violence of the action. . . .” He was reported sick in the regimental hospital from November of 1861 through February of 1862, and was discharged for hernia and rheumatism on March 4, 1862, at Camp Michigan, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Mathias returned to Michigan, living briefly in Kent County, then moving to Allegan and by May of 1868 was living at 822 Harrison Street in Saginaw, Saginaw County, working as a peddler and cooper. He was living with his wife and children and keeping a boarding house in Saginaw’s Second Ward in 1870. He was still living in Saginaw in 1880 with his wife and children, in 1888 and 1890, reportedly suffering from a rupture and rheumatism and in Saginaw’s Fourteenth ward in 1894. In fact, he probably resided at 822 Harrison for the remainder of his life.

In 1888 he applied for and received pension no. 525354, drawing $10.00 per month in 1905. (He may have been a witness for Jackson Bennett’s pension application.)

At some point his wife Theresa was committed to the Michigan State Asylum for the Insane in Kalamazoo, where she died on January 27, 1903. Mathias then married one Catherine Decker (she was divorced from her first husband in 1897), on January 29, 1903, in Saginaw.

Mathias was still residing at 822 Harrison in Saginaw when he died on June 5 or 13, 1905, and was presumably buried in Saginaw.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 833161) but the certificate was never granted.

Gustave Arndt

Gustave Arndt was born 1834 in Staven, Posen, Prussia.

Gustave’s parents were both born in Prussia. In any case, sometime in early 1861 Gustave immigrated to America, moving first to Milwaukee before moving east across Lake Michigan and eventually settling in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan.

Gustave stood 5’6” tall with a light complexion and was 27 years old, unable to speak English and living at Peter Zimmer’s boarding house in Muskegon in April when he enlisted in Company C on May 23, 1861. Gustave did not join the “Muskegon Rangers’, which would eventually join the regiment as the nucleus of Company H, rather he joined Company C which 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.)

For reasons unknown, Gustave was detached from the regiment, and by October of 1862 he was serving with the Quartermaster Department, and in November was a cattle guard. He was sick in the hospital at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and in the hospital at South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from June 30, 1863, through May of 1864. It is possible that Gustave rejoined the regiment sometime in the spring of 1864 and he may have been wounded in the left side at the Wilderness, Virginia, in the first week of May 1864; he also reportedly suffered from “St. Vitus Dance”. Gustave was reportedly mustered out of service at Detroit on June 20, 1864.

Gustave returned to Muskegon after his discharge from the military and by 1871 was living in Whitehall, Muskegon County where he was variously employed in the lumber industry.

Gustave may have been married to Prussian-born Hannah (b. 1847); if so they had at least one child: Rudolf (b. 1868); also living with them were Julius (b. 1843) and Ernest Arndt (b. 1853). Next door lived Abel Palmer who also served in the Old Third during the war.

By 1870 he may have been working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Harwood, Norton Township, Muskegon County.

Gustave was married to a second (?) wife: Prussian-born Mina “Minnie” Schmidt (1854-1927) on June 24, 1871, in Whitehall, and they had at least one child, Emil (1874-1899).

By 1880 he had been rendered (so he claimed) totally unfit for any manual labor and applied for a pension from the government (no. 411143) but the certificate was never granted. That same year he was working as a tanner and living with his wife and son in Whitehall.

In June of 1882 the surgeon who examined Gustave for his pension application certified that indeed he was “totally incapacitated for obtaining his subsistence by manual labor” as a consequence of a “gunshot wound to his left side and St. Vitus dance”.

Gustave died in Whitehall, Michigan on May 25, 1885, reportedly of rheumatism, and was buried in either Whitehall or Montague cemetery: 0-4-3.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 351081) but the certificate was never granted and the claim was reportedly abandoned sometime after 1887. In 1887-88 Mina was residing at Montgomery’s Boarding House in Muskegon.