Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General. Born in Imsbach, Bavaria, he immigrated to the United States with his parents and siblings at six years of age in 1831. Even though he had a deep appreciation for agriculture, having grown up on the family farm in southern Illinois, he pursued a career in law. With the advent of the war with Mexico, he volunteered for service and was appointed a second lieutenant in the 2nd Illinois. He was wounded in the shoulder at the Battle of Buena Vista in February of 1847. Still recovering from his wound, he was mustered out of service with the rest of his unit on June 18, 1847. While practicing law in Chicago, he attended a speech delivered by a German revolutionary, Frederick Hecker. He was inspired to return to Germany to support the revolution in 1848-49, but he was too late. He briefly served in the army of the German duchy of Schleswig-Holstein in its attempt to resist annexation by Denmark. This effort also proved to be futile. He returned to the United States and took over the family farm when his older brother was lost at sea. The farm was outside Belleville, Illinois, near the small town of Shiloh. When the Civil War broke out, he, and many other German-Americans in that part of Illinois, volunteered for service. He was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the 43rd Illinois Infantry. After being organized and trained in southern Missouri, the 43rd did garrison duty at Fort Donelson before being sent to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. He was instrumental in organizing the response to the attack by General Albert S. Johnston at the Battle of Shiloh. At the beginning of the battle, Colonel Julius Raith, the commander of the 43rd, was severely wounded and command of the unit fell to him. On the second day of the battle, he led a charge of the 43rd that was part of Grant's effort to force General Beauregard back to Corinth, Mississippi. He continued to command the 43rd Illinois as its colonel for the rest of its existence. Most of the rest of 1862 was spent building fortifications in western Tennessee near Jackson and countering the actions of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. In May of 1863, the 43rd was sent to participate in the seige of Vicksburg and celebrated its capture in July of that year. On September 2, 1863, he was given command of the second division of the 7th Corps under General Frederick Steele and participated in the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas. The 43rd participated in Steele's Red River Campaign in the spring of 1864 and returned to Little Rock on May 3. On October 1, 1864, he was given command of the city of Little Rock, where he served for the remainder of the war. On March 13, 1865, he was promoted to brevet brigadier general "for faithful and meritorious services." After the war, he returned to his farm and briefly served as postmaster of Belleville before his death. (bio by: Thomas Fisher)
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