By Scott Williams
Without the help of Missouri's German community in the Civil War, the State would have never provided support to the Lincoln administration in its war with the Confederacy. At best, Missouri would have instituted "armed neutrality", confiscated Federal property and purged all U.S. Army installations from the borders of the State. Missouri then would have rejected President Lincoln's request for troops; not allowed the State's industry and resources to be used in the war. Without German Missourians' help in fighting, Lincoln's efforts in cutting the Confederacy in half along the Mississippi River, would have been a failure and perhaps, even a Confederate victory.
"Without German Missourians' help in fighting, [the war] would have been a failure and perhaps, even a Confederate victory."
Worse, there was also the suspicion that the State's pro-Confederate Governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, would have taken Missouri into the Confederacy, despite the State Convention's overwhelming opposition. This is something most of Missouri's German immigrants were most fearful. Many German immigrants were veterans of the 1848 "Peasant Revolution" in a Germany that was broken up into monarchy ruled States. They fought a losing war for the idea of a centralized Federal government that would have radically abolished feudal domination and Kleinstaaterei ("small-statism").
"Many German immigrants were veterans of the 1848 "Peasant Revolution"..they fought a losing war against...feudal domination."
Serfdom was a form of slavery. Many could see the parallel between the Southern "slave baron" vs. the feudal baron that denied peasants the right to own land in the old fatherland. Furthermore, some Southern born Missouri nativists were anti-immigrant. So this created a wedge that formed between the German "Forty-Eighters" and Gov. Claiborne Jackson's government. Yes, there were many exceptions, many Germans also fought for the South, but this was the general trend that the majority of Missouri's German immigrant population followed.
"Many could see the parallel between the Southern "slave baron" vs. the feudal baron that denied peasants the right to own land in the old fatherland."
That is why, ever since the death of pro-immigrant Sen. Thomas Hart Benton (Democrat), the German majority supported the "Free Soil" and later the Republican Party. Lincoln knew he could count on Missouri Germans when the time came to preserve the Union against breaking it up into "small-statism".
"Lincoln knew he could count on Missouri Germans...to preserve the Union.."
Regarding slavery, Lincoln's future cabinet member, William H. Seward once gave a campaign speech in St. Louis. Seward alludes to the prominent anti-slavery element of Missouri's Germans.
"Everywhere I go in Missouri it has been said to me that the Republican Party of this state consists principally of the German population. I am pleased that it is so. For wherever the Germans come, it is their mission to create a way for freedom. Whoever defends right against injustice is in the right place, wherever he might have been born. So let us happily permit Missouri to be Germanized. It was the Germanic spirit that won the Magna Carta in England, it was the German philosophy that has filled the heart of all free men with hope wherever it has penetrated, indeed it was only the German genius that has encouraged freedom throughout the world. So if it is the Germans who are to free Missouri, then let them be Germans. Yet I will not say that one has to be born here or there to have a heart in his bosom glowing for freedom, but I assert that the German spirit is the spirit of tolerance and freedom, and it fights oppression everywhere, whatever mask or disguise it should assume."
Perhaps as in any campaign speech, Seward made some over-exaggerations. Did not Missouri's Germans voluntarily settle in a "slave state" ? For this reason, It is probably safer to say most Missouri Germans were initially only mildly anti-slavery, preferring not to own slaves themselves but tolerant to those that did own them. But many of the St. Louis' German community were "radically anti-slavery" and they sought to rally their people against the institution. This included leaders of Missouri's radical press, like Henry Boernstein of the St. Louis German language paper "Anzeiger des Westens". They brought in outspoken German abolitionist Carl Schurz to speak in St. Louis. The papers reported he was well received and Seward gained a strong backing. But in Missouri, outside St. Louis, the overall German community was a bit more conservative and Abraham Lincoln was selected as a compromise candidate.
"...Many of the St. Louis' German community were 'radically anti-slavery' ..."
Lincoln's 1860 campaign platform shows he was only anti-slavery in the territories and not where slavery currently existed. He also favored colonization of freed slaves on a voluntary basis to Liberia or central America. Lincoln's prewar political success prevented the Republican party from being completely against slavery. Carl L. Benays (editor of Anzeiger des Westens) explains the political technicalities of the day,
"It is the system of free labor that is fighting with the system of slave labor; it is true democracy that opposes the oligarchy of the South and the rule of a destructive system...and those who want the territories given to the free white man and not to the slave-owning baron of the South; but it is not the non-slave owners who are struggling with the slave-owners for the freeing of the slaves."
Regardless of who won the election, St. Louis' radical anti-slavery men continued to be active. On Jan. 1, 1861 a crowd assembled at the St. Louis courthouse for the traditional slave sale. The crowd, recorded as primarily Germans, mocked the auctioneer. They created a ruckus and prevented the sale from going above $8.00. This was the last public slave auction held in the city, and German Americans are credited for ending it.
".On Jan 1, 1861...The last public slave auction [was] held in the city [St. Louis] , and German Americans are credited for ending it."
Although Lincoln was the conservative of the Republican party, his politics were too radical for most of the South. To be fair Lincoln was a revolutionary. He openly stated he refused to obey the Supreme Court ruling on the Dred Scott case, which would allow slavery in all the territories of the United States. The South could not see the Supreme Court as wrong but regarded Lincoln's refusal as a flagrant violation of the judiciary branch of the Federal government. So by Southern standards Lincoln's "Oath of Office" to protect the Constitution was a complete and open lie. But the South was divided on this issue. By December 1860 the lower South had begun to secede from the Union. The upper South, including Missouri decided by State convention that it would remain a part of the Union, despite Lincoln's presidency.
"...Lincoln was a revolutionary...He openly stated he refused to obey the [pro-slavery] Supreme Court ruling on the Dred Scott case...."
But the majority of Missouri natives [non-immigrants] still were not content with Lincoln. They awaited Lincoln's response to the secession of the deep South. The firing on the U.S. flag at Ft. Sumter further divided Missouri natives and immigrants. Many were outraged by this violent act against our peaceful nation. Others were more angered by Lincoln's call for 4,000 Missouri troops to put down the rebellion in response to the attack on Ft. Sumter. Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson refused to send Missouri State troops, saying it was "illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its objects, inhuman and diabolical..." In fact Gov. Jackson wanted U.S. troops out of Missouri and the St. Louis Arsenal turned over to State authority to prevent them from being used against "sister southern states". Gov. Jackson preferred the State to join the Confederacy, he simply did not have the votes to do so. It is likely he would have tried recalling the State Convention to reconsider secession after he had safely confiscated the Federal military infrastructure in the State.
"The firing on the U.S. flag at Ft. Sumter... divided Missouri natives and immigrants."
The St. Louis German community carefully monitored the changing political situation. They formed their own militia regiments and drilled them in secret. All they needed was arms and the political authority from Washington to intervene against Gov. Jackson's possible secession plans. Through St. Louis Congressman, Frank Blair, the St. Louis German community had an ally. Blair advised Lincoln of the Missouri situation and obtained the authority to have the German militias armed. Lincoln also ordered a highly motivated officer, Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, to St. Louis from Kansas.
"...St. Louis German community carefully monitored the changing political situation. They formed their own militia regiments..."
Lyon would become the hero and martyr of the Missouri Union cause . Lyon was a keen observer to national politics. Although Lyon, as Lincoln, was not an abolitionist, he also staunchly opposed the Dred Scott ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court which would allow slavery in all the territories of the United States. Lyon also saw eye to eye with Lincoln over the issue of secession. Their stance was no State could secede from the Union without consent from Congress, anything otherwise was "revolution". Since Lyon's views were so closely matched to Lincoln's, it is no surprise that Lyon was ordered to Missouri to take over command at the St. Louis Arsenal. But all Lyon's efforts would have been hopeless without the intense support he received from Missouri German community.
"Lyon would become the hero and martyr of the Missouri Union cause...But all Lyon's efforts would have been hopeless without the intense support he received from Missouri German community."
The big crisis for Missouri began in May of 1861, when the Missouri Volunteer State Militia met at Camp Jackson, just north of St. Louis. Here Gov. Jackson's forces received arms and ammunition from the Confederate Government. Many of these articles were stolen from the Federal Arsenal at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
[Lyon's] massive force, approximately 10,000 men was set in motion to capture the Missouri State forces at Camp Jackson."
Lyon rallied his forces composed of ten regiments of primarily German American, an artillery battery and two companies of U.S. Infantry (regular Army). This massive force, approximately 10,000 men was set in motion to capture the Missouri State forces at Camp Jackson (approximately 700 men) encamped situated on ground now occupied by St. Louis University.
Eighty percent of Lyon's forces that converged on Camp Jackson were of German descent. Only Twelve percent were American non-immigrants.
The following account gives a description of the approach on Camp Jackson by Lyon's troops. It is taken from Robert J. Rombauer's, "The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861" (1909);
"Early morning on May 10, a horseman was seen galloping southward on the Carondelet Road to Jefferson Barracks. He took orders to the First Volunteers, which camped there, to march without delay and with forty rounds of cartridges to the Arsenal, fully eight miles distant. They started about eight o'clock, was headed at the Arsenal by two Companies of Regulars under Lieutenant Sweeney, and followed their Colonel, Frank P. Blair, and the commander of all the troops, Captain Nathaniel Lyon. This column moved north on Seventh street to Chouteau avenue and westward on the latter until coming in full view of Lindell Grove, they saw the Secessionists run to their cannons and rally to arms. From here this column advanced across the commons in a diagonal line, alternating the "quick step" with "double quick", to a narrow lane west of the camp, and marched on same northward to Olive, passing Frost's sentinels within twenty yards. A part of the First Volunteers was still in the western lane when the head of its column, marching eastward on Olive, met the Union troops coming westward from the city.
The Second Volunteers, Colonel Boernstein, started from Marine Hospital, marched on Broadway to Chouteau avenue and followed that avenue and the route taken by Lyon and Blair; the distance was near six miles. Six pieces of artillery and the Third Volunteers under Colonel Francis Sigel started from the Arsenal, marched up Broadway to Olive and out Olive to the camp, the Artillery taking position on the elevated ground at the east end, also north of the camp, commanding its entire length and threatening it thus in case of a combat, with a most destructive fire. The Fourth Volunteers, Colonel Nic Schuettner, also started from the Arsenal with the Third, but branched off on Market Street and followed that street and Laclede Avenue to the southern line near the east end of the camp. The Reserve Regiments were disposed as follows: From the First Reserve, Colonel Almstedt, one Battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel R. J. Rombauer, marched from Jaeger's Garden on Tenth and Sidney, across the commons to Jefferson Avenue; thence to the east end of Camp Jackson, and took position on the left of the Artillery. From the Second Reserve, Colonel Kallmann, one Battalion under Lietenant-Colonel J.T. Fiala, marched from Soulard Market, north to Olive and west on Olive to the camp, and took position southwest of the First Reserve. The Third Reserve, Colonel John McNeil, formed at the St. Louis Turner Hall on Tenth and Walnut; marched out on Pine Street, then turned to Clark Avenue, following this to west of Jefferson Avenue and formed there the line in front of a little church and near the southeast corner of the camp. The Fourth Reserve, Colonel B. Gratz Brown, marched out on Morgan to near the northeast corner of the camp, guarded with the Third Reserve the approaches to town, forming an actual reserve force for Lyon's command and cutting off the approach to the camp from the city.
Some of the Regulars and the completed Companies of the Fifth Volunteers, under Colonel C. E. Salomon, held the Arsenal, while one Battalion of the First Reserve, under Major Philip Brimmer, and one Battalion of the Second Reserve, under Major Julius Rapp, occupied the streets and guarded the approaches to the Arsenal, with the order to pass no one. The Fifth Reserve, Colonel Charles G. Stifel, not yet armed, but ready for muster, was assembled at headquarters, Stifel's Brewery.
The distance which each column had to march, being known to Captain Lyon, he timed their starting to secure the simultaneous arrival in their respective positions, in order to surround the camp from all sides.
As soon as the inhabitants noticed Regiment near Regiment to press westward on parallel streets with the cadence of fate, and observed the waves of glittering bayonets roll steadily onward along the avenues and many thousand serious, determined men move like veterans toward one destination, an indescribable excitement spread among the people. The rumor of the Union host's march towards Camp Jackson spread like wild fire through the city. The simultaneous movement on various streets bewildered the population, and set large numbers of men that belonged to the camp, as well as their friends, in motion, of whom Scharf says in the History of St. Louis: "Numbers of men seized rifles, shotguns, or whatever other weapons they could lay hands upon and rushed pell mell to the assistance of the State troops, but were of course obstructed in their designs,. " still many of them gathered near the camp, while the majority of men, women and children were actuated by curiosity only, and rushed in wagons, buggies, and on horseback, most of them, however, on foot, like a living stream, ahead, on the side and behind the troops and towards Camp Jackson; not at all deterred by the certainty that in case of a conflict, even a great many spectators must lose their lives. From the pavements, from the windows, even from roofs, people gazed upon the martial array. Mothers of Union sons cast saddened looks upon their passing offspring, while sisters and wives looked wistfully after the vanishing ranks; nor was the anguish of the families in the center of town less, creating anxiety in the older persons, and often disdain akin to hatred in the more demonstrative girls and boys, who ostentatiously withdrew from sight and slammed many a door and shutter in order to give patent expression to their sentiments.
For a Southern perspective on the events, click here.
ONE OF ST. LOUIS' MOST FAMOUS GERMAN IMMIGRANT
CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS
Adolphus Busch, was a Corporal in Company E, 3rd Regiment Infantry, United States Reserve Corps (USRC), Missouri Volunteers. After the war he became a partner in his father-in-law's beer brewery, and eventually took over the leadership of the company, which became the world-famous Anheuser-Busch Beer Brewery in St. Louis. His father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser, also served during the war as a Private in Company C, 3rd Regiment Infantry, U.S. Reserve Corps (USRC), Missouri Volunteers. Other members of the Busch and Anheuser families also served in Missouri Federal units.
THE UNION CAUSE IN ST. LOUIS IN 1861: AN HISTORICAL SKETCH
Roderick Emile Rombauer (brother of author, Robert J. Rombauer)
The following text has been taken from "The Union Cause In St. Louis in 1861: An Historical Sketch", by Robert J. ROMBAUER, Published St. Louis, 1909; Press of Nixon-Jones Printing Co., St. Louis
Lyon in Command
The removal of Harney gave great satisfaction to the Union men. At this time the newly organized force under Lyon's command consisted of:
First Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Blair...........................................1220 men.
Second Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Boernstein.............................1128 men.
Third Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Sigel.........................................1103 men.
Fourth Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Schuettner..............................1027 men.
Fifth Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Solomon.....................................926 men.
Artillery Battalion, Major Backoff..................................................... 253 men.
Pioneer Company, Captain Voerster................................................ 120 men.
First Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Col. Almstedt..........................1195 men.
Second Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Col. Kallmann......................736 men.
Third Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Col. McNeil............................839 men.
Fourth Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Col.B.Gratz Brown..............1169 men.
Fifth Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Col. Stifel................................1014 men.
Total..............................................................................................10, 730 men.
The First Reserve had one company of Cavalry under Captain J. Melter, which did useful service as orderlies to Lyon and Sigel.
In his report dated June 6th, Lyon states his Brigade consists of the five Regiments of Missouri Volunteers; one Battalion of Artillery; one Company of Sappers and Miners and one Company of Rifles. Lyon reports the five Regiments of United States Reserve Corps, to be under the command of Capt. T. W. Sweeney, appointed by Gen. Harney on May 20th as Brigadier General of that body. Field officers of that body though cannot recollect that Sweeney was ever elected, nor that he was ever confirmed from Washington. As Sweeney marched with his company of Regulars to the Southwest, and according Lyon's own statement of the Reserves: "They were sworn into service upon the condition that they were not to be called to perform duty outside of the county of St. Louis", Sweeney's Brigadier appointment seems to have been only for the purpose to give an authority to a Regular Officer, for which there was no warrant in law, or necessity in practice. Memorable in this report, is the special notice Lyon gives to the members of his staff, of whom he names seven. Although more than four-fifths of Lyon's command were foreign born citizens or their sons, many of whom were men of merit and military experience, and not one of them was on his staff.
THE FIRST UNION REGIMENTS
In presenting the names of men who in the spring of 1861 took up arms for the Union in St. Louis, and formed five Volunteer and five Reserve Regiments, a permanent keepsake is intended for their offspring.
The action of the Union people of that period are worthy to be perpetuated beyond the mention of a few prominent men who rose upon the wave of a great popular upheaval. It is in the nature of important events that they are effected by great masses. The rising of (more than)10, 000 St. Louis (German) loyalists is one of the most striking demonstrations of popular power, based on correct principles and wielded with the momentum of a systematic organization. No doubt it will be a matter of great interest to the many thousand descendants to find the names of their ancestors enrolled in the different Regiments and Companies of that period.
Official records, on account of their very size and location, are beyond the reach of most men, and, even under very restricted use, are fast going to pieces. A concise summary of names, based on the best official evidence that could be obtained, will, to a large extent, obviate this difficulty; but, with all due diligence, no claim can be laid to entire correctness. Missouri had no proper State officers when the important events of 1861 took place. Hostile armies traversed the State in every direction, and little heed was paid to recording while the fire burned on the nails. A fruitful source of error lay in the misspelling of names, in the very great number of transfers from one Company or Regiment to another, and in the repeated occurrence of two sets of Company letters, as "Company A" and "Company A Rifles", or "B and B Rifles", which, in case of reference to these lists, should both be consulted. Some of these double-lettered Companies had to be thrown together in these lists, as it was not practicable to separate them.
The enlistments of the three months' service, exceeding 10, 000 men, may be classified as to nationality:
German and of German parentage..........................................80 percent.
French, Irish, Bohemian and others.......................................... 8 percent.
This exhibit verifies the statements made by the writer in the preceding sketch, whose aim was to give conditions, relations and events as they actually existed.
While the officers in every organization appear more prominent, justice prompts the statement that equal patriotic devotion animated all members of these Regiments, and many of the most energetic organizers declined to accept any office; in fact, the men of these Regiments were mostly of one cast, and many stood in the ranks who were qualified to take command. The Companies elected their officers, the latter the Field officers, and the Commander of the Regiment designated his staff.
COMPLETED LIST OF FIRST REGIMENT INFANTRY THREE MONTHS' SERVICE,
who enlisted under President Lincoln's call for 75,000 men in April, 1861, but did not wish to continue in their original Regiment for the Three Years' Service, on account of the manner of reorganization.
The Muster-In Rolls of the Three Months' Regiments could not be secured, and these members were not accounted for on the later Muster Rolls accessible to this compilation; but, having faithfully filled the obligations of service for which they volunteered and having been among the first to take up arms for their country, their names are deservedly reported on this list. Being transferred to different Companies, their original Company letter could not be noted and their names are given collectively. Most of them returned to the Arsenal with the Detachment of Lieutenant Colonel C. D. Wolff, who left Springfield July 24, arrived in St. Louis August 2, when the men were honorably discharged and most of them joined the service for three years in different Regiments.
After the expiration of their term of office, some left without securing the discharge due to them.
ENLISTED AT THE ST. LOUIS ARSENAL ON APRIL 22 AND 23, 1861. IN THE FIRST
VOLUNTEER COMPANIES OF MISSOURI FOR THE THREE MONTHS' SERVICE.
FIRST REGIMENT, UNITED STATES RESERVE CORPS, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
was organized in the First Ward of St. Louis, south of Soulard street, under President Lincoln's Order of April 30, 1861, and mustered in for home service at the St. Louis Arsenal under Colonel Henry ALMSTEDT on May 7. It had 1200 men in 12 Companies. Its Armory was Jaeger's Garden on Sidney and Tenth streets. On May 10 six Companies marched to Camp Jackson and six were posted on Sidney street, guarding the avenues to the Arsenal. On May 18 a Cavalry Company from the same Ward joined, which did valuable scouting service. When the Volunteers moved from St. Louis part of the Regiment held the Arsenal, protected the railroad to Rolla, and garrisoned, for a short time, Jefferson City. Four Companies occupied Turner Hall during the absence of the Third Reserve, and six Companies followed Fremont to Birds Point until ordered to St. Louis to be mustered out on August 20. With the exception of 6 per cent Bohemian*, the Regiment was almost entirely German.
The Three Months' Regiment consisted of 12 Infantry and 1 Cavalry Company, numbering 1269 men. It reorganized for a Three-Year Reserve Regiment by September 12 under Colonel Robert Julius ROMBAUER.
[*Note: Bohemia was located in the western part of Czechoslovakia, bordering the eastern boundary of Bavaria, Germany. Bohemia was an independent kingdom from the 13th century until the end of World War I, but was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose official language was German. Most Bohemians were of German and east European descent and spoke German. –Note by J.. Maurath]
SECOND REGIMENT, UNITED STATES RESERVE CORPS, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
was organized for home service May 7, with nine Companies under President Lincoln's order of April 30, by citizens of the Second Ward living between Soulard and Chouteau avenue, by electing Herman KALLMANN Colonel and establishing Soulard Market their Headquarters and Armory. On May 10 one Battalion marched to Camp Jackson and the balance guarded the avenues leading to the Arsenal. In June the Regiment guarded the North Missouri Railroad, and on its homeward march was fired upon from a fire engine house in the center of St. Louis. Later on portions guarded the Iron Mountain Railroad, while six Companies went with Fremont's
Expedition to Bird's Point. On returning the Regiment was mustered out in August and reorganized early in September for three years' service in the State of Missouri, electing Hermann KALLMANN Colonel.
With the exception of 8 per cent Bohemians, the Regiment was almost entirely German. The number of men on the Three Months' Lists were 785.
SECOND REGIMENT INFANTRY, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
organized end of April by electing Henry BOERNSTEIN Colonel. It had ten Infantry and two Rifle Companies; took part in the capture of Camp Jackson and went with General Lyon to Jefferson City, where its Colonel acted as provisional Governor of Missouri. Its' Companies made frequent scouts into the surrounding disaffected districts and escorted steamboats on the Missouri River. Its Rifle Companies marched with Lyon to the engagement of Boonville, took part in several skirmishes and held an important position at the battle of Wilson's Creek, under their leader, Captain Peter J. OSTERHAUS, where, with the First Missouri Volunteers, they bore the brunt of the battle. The Regiment reorganized for three years' service September 10, 1861, under Colonel Friedrich SCHAEFERr. With the exception of 3 1/2 percent, the Regiment was constituted entirely of Germans.
In the following lists, the men of Company "A" and "A Rifle", and those of "B" and "B Rifle", are, according to best accessible evidence, listed together; all told, 1286 men formed the Regiment.
Peter J. OSTERHAUS, served as a Captain at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. By war's end would become a General.
THIRD REGIMENT, UNITED STATES RESERVE CORPS, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
mustered for home service May 8, under President Lincoln's order of April 30, with ten Companies, by electing John McNEIL Colonel and establishing Headquarters and Armory at the St. Louis Turner Hall (in German, "St. Louis Turnverein") on Tenth and Walnut streets, where many of its members had been drilling before. Company "A" was formed of St. Louis Turners, who also largely entered into the formation of other Companies, as their numbers exceeded the original quota, which was rapidly filled up by the first four Volunteer Regiments. The Regiment marched out to Camp Jackson. It chiefly garrisoned the city until July 1, when three of its Companies joined the Southwest expedition, while on the 16th of July six Companies marched, via Jefferson, into Callaway County and defeated a Secession troop under Harris, after a short engagement, and took possession of Fulton, from where the Companies returned to St. Louis, to be mustered out at the expiration of service. The Regiment had among its members many prominent business men, whose offices in the center of town made Turner Hall a convenient place of assembly. The Regiment held 20 per cent Americans, 5 per cent other nationalities and 75 per cent Germans. It reorganized for the Three-Year Reserve Corps Service, under Colonel C. A. FRITZ, in September and consolidated with other troops in January, 1862, forming the Fourth Missouri Volunteers. The Regiment listed for the Three Months' Service 1028 men.
THIRD REGIMENT INFANTRY, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
was completed towards the end of April by electing Francis (Franz) SIGEL Colonel. It took part in the capture of Camp Jackson, protected the Pacific & Southwest Branch (present Frisco) Railroads, and took up, June 12, the expedition to the Southwest, via Rolla, Lebanon, Springfield, Neosho; turning thence northward, to join Lyon, its rear guard of two Companies was surrounded and captured. The Third and Fifth Regiments, under command of Colonel Sigel, met a large force of the enemy ten miles north of Carthage, and, after a spirited engagement, made a successful retreat, via Carthage, Sarcoxie and Mount Vernon, to Springfield. From here a portion of the Regiment returned to St. Louis on the 25th of July, under command of Lieutenant Colonel BISCHOFF, to be mustered out on account of expiration of term of service. The other portion of the Regiment took part in the scouts and skirmishes to the Southwest and formed, with other troops, Sigel's Column in the battle of Wilson's Creek. The Regiment returned to St. Louis August 25. Some Companies reorganized immediately, and were, on January 8, 1862, consolidated for the three years' service under Colonel Isaac F. SHEPARD.
The three months' Regiment had twelve Companies, two of which hailed chiefly from Belleville, Ill.
The Third Missouri Volunteers was almost completely German. It listed 1455 men.
FOURTH REGIMENT, UNITED STATES RESERVE CORPS, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
mustered May 8, under President Lincoln's Order of April 30, with eleven Companies, chiefly from the neighborhood of Franklin avenue, by electing B. Gratz BROWN Colonel and establishing an Amory and Headquarters at Uhrig's Cave, southwest corner of Washington and Jefferson avenues. On May 10 it held the northeastern approaches of town to Camp Jackson. In June and July it secured the route, via Rolla, to the Southwest, where transports had to provision the Army over 120 miles of wagon road. The Regiment met Sigel on his retreat from Carthage to Springfield at Mount Vernon. Of the 11 Companies of the Regiment, one was comprised almost entirely of Americans, and one of Frenchmen; of the entire body 75 per cent were Germans.
Mustered out at the expiration of service in August, six Companies reorganized for the Reserve Service in September, under Lieutenant-Colonel John H. HERDER, but were already, in January, 1862, consolidated with the Eighteenth Missouri Volunteers. The Regiment mustered for the Three Months' Service 1014 men.
FOURTH REGIMENT INFANTRY, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
The Fourth Regiment Infantry, Missouri Volunteers, was organized with twelve Companies towards the end of April, 1861, by electing Nicolaus SCHUETTNER Colonel. It was originally a hunting society of longer standing called "Die Schwarzen Jaeger" (The Black Hunters), equipped with the usual outfit of a hunting society. This and the Schuetzen* Section of the St. Louis Turnverein were the first armed Union volunteer bodies in St. Louis, even before President Lincoln's call for 75,000 men.
*The German word Schuetze (plural: Schuetzen) literally means "shooter", and with the appropriate prefix, was used to denote everything from an archer (Bogenschuetze) to a rifleman (Gewehrschuetze) to a sharpshooter (Scharfschuetze). A more general English term for Schuetze, would be "marksman". The organized movement of Schuetzen (originally archers, later riflemen) began in Germany during the middle ages. This movement gained new momentum during resistance to the occupation of Germany by Napoleon in the early 1800's, and again during the 1848 revolutions. Eventually, the Schuetzen movement grew into shooting and hunting clubs, and were comparable to the Germans, as country clubs have become to Americans. Alcoholic beverages became a big part of the Schuetzen clubs. When German immigrants came to America, they brought the Schuetzen tradtions with them, and numerous Schuetzen Clubs and other clubs (such as the Turnvereine clubs, which were gymnastic or athletic clubs, and which also might have had Schuetzen groups or sections within them) were organized. These German shooting and hunting clubs had been established in Missouri as far back as the 1830's, or earlier, as far back as the first German immigrants to Missouri, and were in place all over Missouri wherever German immigrants had settled. Many of the German Schuetzen clubs in Missouri were the first to respond to President Lincoln's request for volunteers to "quell the rebellion".
The Regiment took part in the capture of Camp Jackson and was soon thereafter sent down to protect Cairo and Birds Point. It made a fortified camp at the latter place and carried on a successful scouting in Southeast Missouri. On returning to St. Louis the Regiment was sent on a larger expedition to Callaway County, while two of its Companies were on detached service guarding the Pacific Railroad. The Regiment was mustered out at the expiration of its term of service on July 30, 1861, and those of its members who re-enlisted joined different Regiments and Companies, but the original organization was not continued. Of its 1037 members, 88 per cent were Germans, 8 per cent Bohemians, the balance Americans.
FIFTH REGIMENT, UNITED STATES RESERVE CORPS, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
organized under President Lincoln's Order of April 30, for home service, the men living chiefly in the old Tenth Ward of St. Louis, which included the northwestern part of the city; they elected Karl "Charles" G. STIFEL Colonel and established their Armory and Headquarters at his brewery on Eighteenth and Howard streets. The Regiment mustered into service May 11 and on returning from the Arsenal was attacked by a mob on corner of Walnut and Broadway; shots were exchanged and a number of men lost their lives. In June three Companies went to Jefferson City to guard the Penitentiary and to escort provisions to Lyon's Army at Boonville, from where the whole Regiment took up a steamboat scouting service up the Missouri River: it helped to fortify Lexington, organized Home Guard Companies for its defense, secured arms from Fort Leavenworth and routed Secession bands along the river. Returning to St. Louis, the Regiment was mustered out at the end of August; seven Companies of it reorganized for home service in September, under Lieutenant-Colonel John Jacob FISHCER, were consolidated with other troops, retaining the privileges of the Reserve Service; of the original Regiment 83 per cent were Germans, 14 per cent Americans. The Three-Months' Regiment mustered 1130 men.
FIFTH REGIMENT INFANTRY, MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS
(from Dyer’s Compendium)
The quota of Missouri under President Lincoln's call for 75, 000 men, had been filled by the first four Regiments of Volunteers, but, in anticipation that more troops would be accepted, Companies of the Fifth Missouri Volunteers were organized and mustered in, at the time, when the President's Order of April 30 authorized enlistments in St. Louis up to 10, 000 men. The Regiment was completed May 18 by electing Chas. E. SOLOMON Colonel. Companies of the Fifth Volunteers garrisoned the Arsenal on Camp Jackson Day.
The Regiment left St. Louis June 16 and marched Southwest, via Rolla, leaving one Company at Lebanon and two at Springfield. It reached Dry Forks, ten miles north of Carthage, took part in that engagement and creditably held its ground in the battle of Wilson's Creek, although the time of the men had expired.
Returning to St. Louis August 18, the Regiment was mustered out August 26, most of its members joining different organizations for the three years' service.
The Missouri Adjutant General's Report for 1863 states relative the Fifth Volunteer Regiment: " 'A' no company". Another office record states: "Company 'A', Fifth Missouri Volunteers, went, under Captain Nelson COLE, with Companies A and B Rifles of the First Missouri Volunteers, to the southeast of the State", and in the Adjutant General's Office of Missouri are recorded transfers, amounting to nearly a full Company, from Company A, Fifth Volunteers, to Captain Cole's Company E, First Regiment Volunteers, three years' service. To avoid duplication, the names are only reported in the latter list.
In the United States Records of the Civil War the report appears from St. Louis Arsenal, May 16, 1861, that Captain Nelson Cole, Company A, Fifth Regiment, Missouri Infantry, and Company A, Rifle Battalion, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, went to Potosi, captured lead and some prisoners, and returned to St. Louis, leaving Lieutenant MURPHY with 30 men at De Soto.
The Fifth Regiment had only 775 men, being reduced by Company "A" detachment. The nationality of its members was 65 per cent German, the balance American, Bohemian and Irish.
Company H marked for transfer to Seventh Missouri Volunteers.
MISSOURI GERMAN UNION SOLDIERS:
Historian Wilhelm Kaufmann (1847-1920) states in his work, "The Germans in the American Civil War", that there were 31,000 Germans from Missouri serving in the Union Army. The author notes this to be an extraordinary claim, considering there were 91,000 Germans in Missouri at the time. He explains that some of this number is German refugees who came out of the South during the conflict. Also Germans from northern States, especially Illinois crossed over and enlisted in Missouri units.
Battle flag of the 17th Regiment, Missouri Infantry, another German immigrant unit, and known amongst the Missouri Germans as the "Westliches Turner-Schützenregiment". The flag is currently on loan by the State of Missouri to the State Museum of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, Germany, for a display about Germans in Civil War Missouri. Photo courtesy of Professor Wolfgang Hochbruck, Professor of North American Studies at the University of Freiburg, in the state of Baden, Germany. Professor Hochbruck has made an extensive effort to research the backgrounds of the soldiers of this regiment; and the resulting database was made available in late 2003. If you have any information about this regiment or the soldiers of this regiment, please contact Professor Hochbruck at email@example.com