Heinrich Jacob Ohlhues arrived at the shores of the United States of America in May of 1859. His father, Hans Gottlieb Jacob Ohlhues, brought him and his mother, brother, sisters and brother-in-law to Florence Township, Will County, Illinois to make their fortunes in the New World. Heinrich was a mere boy. He worked the land, helping his family and dreaming of the day he would have a family and land of his own. Soon after arriving in Illinois, the War Between the States broke out.
As hostilities continued and the battles grew larger and more deadly, the Governor of Illinois called the citizens to arms. A Volunteer Militia was formed, including the 39th IL Volunteer Infantry, Company E, called Florence Rifles organized in the fall of 1861. Henry, as he was called, enlisted Feb 23, 1864 stating his age as 20, but he was younger than that. Shortly after his enlistment, the soldiers left their homes, families, wives and children to fight for the principles that made all men free and equal. That summer, Henry was severely wounded in the chest in a battle at Wier Bottom Church, Virginia, and spent much time recovering. The 39th came back to Illinois in the fall of 1864 for a break, traveling via ship along the Atlantic coast and then overland by rail. In November of that year while on leave he married Miss Ellen Neimann of Starr's Grove, Florence Township Illinois. The ceremony was performed at the National Hotel in Joliet, Illinois by Rev. John Kidd, on November 17, 1864. (Source: Newspaper accounts, Wilmington Advocate, Wilmington, Illinois; Marriage License # 1963, Will County Clerk, Joliet, Illinois)
Soon enough, furlough was over and the men went back to the battlefield. The fight ended for Henry on April 2, 1865 when he took a round in the belly at Fort Gregg near Petersburg, Virginia. At the time, he was buried on the battlefield. Later in the 19th century, a national cemetery was created, Poplar Grove Battlefield Cemetery, and Henry's remains were moved to that location where he remains to this day. (Source: Office of the Secretary of State, Illinois, Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Illinois Civil War Units; US NARA Compiled Military and Service File)
His widow, Ellen, applied for and received widow's pension, and eventually remarried. Her husband, Leonard Morey, was also a veteran of that war, and their union was blessed with 3 children.