Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos


[ Transcript for: "I Goes to Fight mit Siegel": Missouri's Germans and the Civil War ]

"I Goes to Fight mit Siegel": Missouri's Germans and the Civil War Video Transcript


Musical Prelude

Ven I comes from der Deutsche Countree, I vorks sometimes at baking, Und den I runs a beer-saloon, und den I tries shoe-making. But now I march mit musket out to safe dot Yankee Eagle, Dey dress my up in soldier's clothes to go and fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

Yah, das is true, I shpeaks mit you. Ve goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

I gets ein big tam rifle gun und puts him to mine shoulder, Den I march around like a big jackhorse or maybe someding bolder; I goes off mit de volunteers to save der Yankee Eagle; To give dem Rebel vellers fits, I goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

Yah, das is true, I shpeaks mit you. Ve goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

For rations dey gives salty pork. I dinks dat vas a great sell; I petter likes der sauerkraut, der Schnitzel-kase und bretzel. If Fighting Joe will give us dem, ve'll save der Yankee Eagle, Und I'll put mine vrou in breech-a-loons to go and fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

Yah, dah is true, I shpeaks mit you. Ve goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

Ve Deutschen mens mit Sigel's [Siegel's] band at fighting got no rival; Und ven Cheff Davis mens ve meet, ve schlauch em like de devil. Der's only von ting vot ve fear ven pattling for der Eagle, Ve von't get not no lager beer ven ve goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].

Yah, dah is true, I shpeaks mit you. Ve goes to fight mit Sigel [Siegel].


DR. LUEBBERING: Thank you-all for coming out tonight. Can you hear me all right?
(No response.)

DR. LUEBBERING: I think for once I'll probably stay behind the podium.

My thanks, also, to the Friends of the Archives who make these programs possible.

If any of you came thinking you were getting a Civil War historian or a military historian as your lecturer tonight. I'm sorry. You're not. As Vicky said, I'm an immigrant historian and will come at the subject of the Germans and the Civil War through that particular perspective.

And fairly obviously, probably there's in a 45 minute talk I'm only going to scratch the surface. And I'll try to give you an introduction into several aspects of the topic and hope that what you hear tonight may interest you in learning more about the subject.

I want to talk first about the ways in which the Missouri -- the Germans changed Missouri's political culture in the years leading up to the Civil War. And consequently what role those immigrants played in keeping Missouri in the Union rather than having Missouri become one of the Confederate states.

I'll talk a little bit less about the war itself. Although I will talk a little bit about German soldiers' experiences during the Civil War. And then I'll talk a little bit about the home front and the experiences of some of the women who were left behind when their men went off to war. One of -- it's a subject that often gets ignored when you talk about war -- the history of wars.

Robin and I lived for a couple of years in Bergen, Norway. And one of the most moving war memorials that I've ever seen is at the fish market on the old harbor in the center of Bergen. And it's a statue of a woman and a young child. It's a war memorial, very poignant.

Missouri Before German Immigrants

Well, let's take a look at Missouri in the years before the Germans begin to come. Missouri although it was settled by a variety of people, politically, economically it was really dominated by settlers that came from the south, from the old south, particularly the Carolinas, Virginia and then also from the Appalachians, from Kentucky, Tennessee as those settlers moved west.

The attitudes of the larger land-owning class in Missouri really dominated the political system. There were -- that particular group was over represented, shall we say, in the political life of Missouri serving in various offices in the state.
The slave population in Missouri, although Missouri was not one of the largest slave holding states, was important. And it continued to grow right up to the beginning of the Civil War. And during the 1950s, for example, you see the numbers there, the slave population in Missouri grew by 35 to 40 percent.

By 1860, there were more than 24,000 slave owners in Missouri. Not a huge part of the population, but nonetheless an important one. Slave owners comprised actually only about 2 percent of the state's population in 1860.

Influx of German Immigrants

But their attitudes, as I said, were important in the political culture in Missouri. Claiborne Fox Jackson who was to become Missouri's governor at a very crucial time in 1860-1861, said in a speech in 1847 concerning the influx of these new settlers into Missouri coming not from the south, but now from the north and more importantly from Germany.

He said that the northerners and quote, "Germans seeking homes in Missouri should be met on the threshold, knocked on the head and driven back." Jackson understood whatever we may think about his political values, that the Germans were a tide in Missouri that was going to change things and he didn't like it.

Missouri's Germans began coming in the 1830s in large numbers. Heralded and in some ways encouraged by Gottfried Duden in his book about Missouri. Duden was a lawyer from Prussia who came to Missouri and, fortunately or not, he came during a time when -- in the 1820s when he happened to hit Missouri during good weather. He bought a little farm over by Marthasville. And he was here for three years, a period of very mild winters and very mild summers. And he had enough money that he could hire his American neighbors to work his land and build his fences and do that. As far as I can tell, Duden spent most of his time riding around visiting his neighbors and writing letters home.

He thought he had landed in a virtual paradise. And when he got back to Germany he wrote a book about Missouri encouraging Germans to resettle here. It was actually one of about 50 books that was published in the 1830s in Germany encouraging immigration to the United States.

And Duden's book was very influential in bringing some of the larger groups of early settlers from Germany -- the German states to Missouri.

In 1830 in the Missouri Census there were only a few hundred Germans identified as living in Missouri. Twenty years later in 1850 there were 45,000. You talk about a significant immigrant influx. That's a huge change. And then 10 years later that it almost doubled again to almost 90,000 people -- 90,000 Germans in Missouri by 1860.

Germans in 1860 comprised 7.5 percent of the states population. If we think about that, for example, in comparison to the very small percentage of -- of Missouri's population, today, that are immigrants -- you know, think about that's a very sizable part of a population. And, again, if you compare it to the percentage of the population in 1860 that owned slaves, 3 to 1. So things were going to change, and they did in the 1860 elections.

The 1860 Elections

There were several competing forces not just two in the 1860 elections. The pro-southern leaning towards secession Breckenridge Democrats got about 20 percent of the votes in the 1860 election.

The more Centrists Douglas Democrats that -- that argued in essence that the state should determine its own course of action, and the Constitutional Unionists who believed in Union, but preserving slavery, those comprised about 70 percent of the votes cast in the 1860 election.

The anti-slavery, the absolute Unionists, the Republicans in 1860, the party of Abraham Lincoln got about 10 percent of the vote in Missouri.

I just came across a statistic this week, actually, that said, and I haven't had a chance to check this out to make sure that it's true, but I suspect that it is, I think my source is good, that said that Lincoln got only about 24,000 votes across the south in the 1860 election. That sounds very small, very low to me. And I'm a little suspicious of that.
St. Louis Germans apparently cast about 15,000 votes for Lincoln in 1860. It gives you some idea of the preponderance of support for Lincoln that came from the German immigrant community.

It's interesting that most of the support for the Secessionist party in Missouri came not from Little Dixie, from the area north of the Missouri River, the heavy slave-holding areas. It came instead from the Ozarks where there were very few slaves, but where most of the settlers came out of the upper south. It's an interesting socioeconomic, political, phenomenon that some of the most passionate pro-secessionists in parts of Missouri actually owned very few slaves and profited very little by the slave economy.

Claiborne Fox Jackson

Well, Claiborne Fox Jackson was elected governor of Missouri in that election in 1860. He ran as a moderate. And it's fairly clear to me that -- that he was doing what a lot of politicians before him and after him have done; he was disguising his true ideas somewhat during the campaign. In his inaugural address, for example, Jackson said, quote, "The destiny of the slave-holding states is one and the same." In other words, Missouri's destiny lies with Mississippi and Louisiana and Alabama and Virginia and the Carolinas because we are all one. For someone who ran as a moderate, that's an astounding conversion in a fairly short period of time.

One of the things that Jackson tried to do to help further his plan for taking Missouri out of the Union and into the Confederacy was to try to get approval from the legislature for the governor to have the power to conscript all men of military age into the state militia.

Now, you know, he probably didn't intend to draft every single male of military age, but he wanted the power to have a draft. And the state militia is under the governor's control, which means that Jackson would effectively have a fairly sizable Army, if he wanted one. The legislature turned him down.

His second strategy, then, when he realized that this -- this largely moderate voting block in the legislature was not going to give him what he wanted. He decided to do an end run around the legislature and there were discussions among a number of parties and a decision was made to hold a special convention to decide the future of the state.

In the elections of the delegates to that convention, about 20 percent of the votes cast were for pro-secessionist delegates, but I -- and I don't know -- you know, some of the political historians and there may be some here who know exactly how this election worked. I'm not -- I don't know. But in spite of the fact that there were about 20 percent of the votes cast for secessionist candidates apparently none of them were elected.

Sterling Price, interestingly enough, chaired the convention. But Price, at that point, was not an absolute secessionist. He only becomes one a little bit later. But the upshot of it all that the special convention route-- doesn't work for Jackson either because the convention decides that there is no compelling reason for Missouri to move out of the Union and join the Confederacy. Two strikes, Jackson is not doing well.

After the Confederate forces fire on Fort Sumter, Lincoln issued a call for troops. And when that -- that call for troops came to Jackson, in Missouri, he responded fairly passionately to it. He called it, quote, "Illegal, unconstitutional and revolutionary, inhuman and diabolical." He wasn't happy about it, let's say. And he called for Missouri to secede from the Union.

Union Arsenal in St. Louis

Well, so how to make this happen? He has the state militia. He does not have the power to draft people into that state militia. He has a quandary. There is, however, a Union arsenal in St. Louis. And it has a lot of munitions, guns, bullets and not very many Union troops.

There's a group of pro-southern militia men who had already taken over a Union arsenal in Lexington sometime earlier, a much smaller one. And Jackson, it's fairly clear, intended to do that with the Union arsenal in St. Louis.

So, he called the state militia to gather near St. Louis just -- and what's now south St. Louis but was, at that point, slightly outside the city, and called them into camp on May 6th of 1861. It was to be a week long muster of the state militia. They were just there to drill, that was all. But they were in handy proximity to the arsenal should they decide to do something.

Well, Union commanders in St. Louis as Union commanders did across the United States for much of the war, they dithered. And Frank Blair who was one of the movers and shakers in St. Louis and was not happy about the dithering, finally, got Lincoln's folks to give him the authority -- well, they -- first he had the Union commander replaced with somebody who was more to Blair's liking, but he also got the authority from Lincoln to raise troops for the Union.

The Germans in St. Louis were largely pro-Union -- you know, they had voted for Lincoln. And they were sort of raring to go. Some of them were veterans of the 1848 Revolutions in the German states. They knew something about -- some of them knew something about military affairs. And -- you know, in that stereotypical German way, they got organized. They elected their own officers. They formed companies and regiments and the whole bit. But they weren't Union soldiers, they were just drilling.

When Blair got the authority from the federal government to recruit Union soldiers, he got 2,000 Germans enlisted within two weeks. And it's a little bit of an exaggeration to say that -- that the Germans walked into the Union arsenal in St. Louis one night as civilians and walked out the next morning as the Union Army, but it's not much of an exaggeration to say that.

The Camp Jackson Affair

And so we get one of the defining moments in Missouri's history and that's the Camp Jackson Affair. The state militia had encamped in Camp Jackson with fewer than 1,000 men. Governor Jackson did not have a large force to hand. By the time the state militia is in place, Blair has now got 8,000 Union soldiers on the ground in St. Louis. A good many of those, 9 out of 10 regiments, actually, are predominately German.

And on May 10th General Nathaniel Lyon led out a force of 6,000 men to march south to surround Camp Jackson. A number of those regiments were commanded by German officers including Franz Sigel [Siegel] and Heinrich Boernstein and 6,000 against 900. They just basically marched down, drew up a circle around Camp Jackson and said, okay, and the state militia stacked its arms and surrendered. There was not a shot fired.

However, the aftermath did not go quite so smoothly. Lyons got kicked by a horse. That was sort of the beginning of the difficulty as I've been able to read the history of those very chaotic events after the state militia had surrendered. And so the -- the march back in to St. Louis to the arsenal, they were going to take the state militia back as prisoners and decide what to do with them, the march back was delayed. By the time it got started the crowds had begun to gather.

St. Louis was not as you could probably tell, if you were following the lyrics to that song, was not entirely in love with the Germans. And there was a fair part of the St. Louis population, lots of the Irish as well as the southerners who had settled there who were pretty antagonistic toward the Germans and their cause. The crowds gathered, taunts, stones, probably bottles being thrown. And at some point there's a gunshot. And it is absolutely unclear who fired the first shot. My best guess from what I've been able to ascertain is that it probably came from somebody in the crowd. But there's no knowing for sure. Whatever happened, these brand new recruits untried, untrained, for the most part, didn't hold their discipline and some of them fired back and fired into the crowd.

When the shooting stopped there were four soldiers dead, a number of other soldiers who had been wounded by gunfire from the crowd, 28 civilians were dead and more wounded. Not an auspicious first outing for the Union Army in St. Louis.
As you can imagine it stirred up a lot of animosity both towards the Germans and towards the Union cause among some of the civilians in St. Louis. For some reason the next day, Lyon sent out another troop of Germans, there were about 1,000 of them, who went out -- out of arsenal into the city and they were again fired on by somebody in the crowd. Four soldiers were wounded this time. None of them were killed. But again they returned fire and there -- this time there were nine civilians killed and more wounded. There are some estimates that there were more than that killed. But it's pretty certain that the numbers of 28 dead, the first day, and nine the second among the civilians are the minimum number who were killed.

It was not a happy affair for all kinds of reasons. It was, however, in some ways the turning point for Missouri's decision about what to do because the federal weapons in the Union arsenal were now safe. The state militia had been affectively disarmed and although there was recruitment by the Confederacy in Missouri and there were certainly a sizeable number of Missourians who enlisted in either the regular Confederate Army or in guerilla groups and fought on for the southern cause.

The Camp Jackson affair really affectively ends any chance of realistically taking Missouri out of the Union. And so, if you wanted to be a pro-German immigrant cheerleader you could probably argue somewhat justifiably that if it weren't for the Germans, Missouri might have seceded. That's probably stretching it too much.

But certainly the influx of these large numbers of Germans into Missouri in the three decades before the Civil War and the actions in 1860 and 1861 by the German immigrants, particularly in St. Louis, were extremely important factors in Missouri's decision to remain in the Union. And in some ways, that influences war in the west for the rest of the fighting in the Civil War.

A Soldier’s Life

Well, let's turn to a little bit about the soldiers' lives and the war in Missouri. And as I said, I'm not a military historian, I'm not going to talk about the battle at Wilson's Creek or in Boonville or Lexington or wherever.

This is illustration from Harper's Weekly, General Fremont's Union Army camp near Jefferson City. I think it was in 1861. About 60 percent of Missouri's male population of military age fought for at least part of the Civil War. That's a huge percentage, about 60 percent of the military age males.

Three-quarters of those fought on the Union side, most of them in the regular Army. There were some home guards as well, particularly in some of the German areas, but most of those served in the Union Army.

The Confederate recruits, many of them were -- as I said were in the Confederate Army, but also served in irregular units, the most notorious, of course, being Quantrill's and Bloody Bill Anderson's.

It's probably important when we're thinking about the lives of the soldiers and the impact of the families back home to keep in mind some of the facts about Civil War battles and soldiers' lives in the Civil War. One of the things that happens in the American Civil War, as it was in World War I in Europe, is the technology had outstripped strategy and battle tactics. And you've got repeating rifles being used on a large scale for the first time and mass infantry attacks against lines of repeating rifles.

It's not quite the slaughter that you get in Europe on the western front in 1914 and '15, and '16 when you have machine guns, but it doesn't miss it by much if you look at some of the casualty numbers for places like Shiloh and Antietam and Gettysburg. Enormous numbers of dead in one day or two day battles. And, of course, many more wounded.

And more Civil War soldiers died of disease than died of battle. Disease and exposure killed more soldiers in the Civil War than death from fighting.

And consequently one of the things that happens to families is that they're left to care for these people, the men who came back home. And I'll mention a couple of examples of that. We know a lot about lives of soldiers in the Civil War.

John Buegel’s Diary

One of the most wonderful sources I've run across is an unpublished diary by a German recruit into the Union Army from St. Louis whose name is John Buegel. The diary is written in German. The Western Manuscripts Collection in Columbia has it. They've got the original diary. And it's kind of a thrill to get it out of the jacket and actually be able to hold it and read it. There's also an English language typescript if your German isn't much better than mine.

Buegel tells some wonderfully, colorful stories and he spent -- he spent a good bit of time in Missouri during the war. He talks about boredom. We tend to think about war and soldiers' lives in terms of battles but, of course, battles in most wars take up a very small amount of soldiers' lives. They spend a lot more time sitting around.

And Buegel talked about being in winter camp near Rolla in 1861, they were down there for a couple of months, and he said they had nothing to do except march. And he remembered one day in 1860 -- in December of 1861 his company and three other companies of German recruits were ordered to take a couple of cannon and to march 12 miles from Rolla to the Gasconade River.

Roads were not real good. And they dragged these cannon along and got them to the river. And they got there and they looked at their river and they got a chance to take a break and they ate some of their hardtack bread, drank a little bit of water and then they turned around and marched back to Rolla.

And Buegel wrote in his diary, the next day, he said, he thought maybe they were meant to learn to swim on this outing, but when they got there the water was either too cold or too wet and the officers didn't want them to do that. So he said, instead we just learned to walk.

You can detect a little bit of sarcasm about the officer class there from an enlisted man. Buegel also wrote about some of the pleasures of Army life, some of the camaraderie among the friends who were in the various companies together. He said during that first Christmas in Rolla one of his buddies had gotten a care package, he doesn't use that term of course, from home. A few flasks of wine, he says, a small keg of beer, 50 cigars, a few packages of tobacco, some sausages, a whole ham, cheeses and other delicacies and Buegel and his buddies ate very well for about two weeks until they had eaten it all up.

They also -- they thought they were going to be there for quite a while so they built a log cabin for themselves so they wouldn't have to live in a tent. And I think within a few weeks of finishing the cabin, they decamped and had to leave, so they didn't get to enjoy it very much. But they did have it done for Christmas, so they were snug and able to enjoy their wine and beer and sausages for Christmas.

Well, Buegel served in the Union Army for more than three years, and he remained to the very end. If you read the end of his diary he remained very patriotic, very, very deeply committed to the Union cause. But he said after months of marching and skirmishing, and he was in a number of battles at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield at Pea Ridge in Arkansas, he said, quote, "We were all so run down by hardship that we had more rheumatism than patriotism."

And that -- that too reflects something about the reality of soldiers' life -- lives. I should mention that -- that Sigel [Siegel] did not distinguish himself in a positive way in the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Sigel's [Siegel's] men said of him that his best military maneuver was the retreat, which he -- he was quite willing to do at the drop of a hat, but didn't always do under the best circumstances. But I didn't come here to slander Sigel [Siegel].

Well, another very important part of the Civil War in Missouri and the military. This is another Harper's Weekly illustration showing some men coming back from a battle and wagons going up to pick up wounded and bring them back from the front. That's not a pretty sight. That's also an illustration from Harper's.

Guerrilla Warfare

The guerrilla war was especially brutal in Missouri. And there are a lot of stories of massacres. Probably, one of the worst was when a group that, at least, claimed to be Quantrill's men as far as I know Quantrill wasn't with -- excuse me. I'm sorry. Not Quantrill, Anderson. Stopped a Union train or stopped a train with a bunch of Union soldiers on it near Centralia and got them all off and lined them up and shot them.

Most of the -- there are a lot of stories. And some of you who have done a little bit of oral history or you've got old stories from your family that go back to the Civil War, lots of them talk about raids on barns and chicken coops. They talk about guerrillas or soldiers coming and confiscating horses or cattle or whatever it was the soldiers wanted, sometimes offering script that could be redeemed after the war as if that was going to do you any good and sometimes not even a pretense made of paying for what they took.

There's one of those stories in my family. My mother's side about a group of Confederate sympathizers coming one night to the farm in Osage County and I don't remember what it was they stole, but something.

The James brothers, of course, got their start in public life riding with Quantrill. And some of the guerrillas were genuine Confederate partisans. Others were really nothing more than bandits who were using the war as an opportunity to pillage. The southerners certainly got blamed for a lot more of the guerrilla violence than the northern sympathizers and probably justifiably so.

And a lot of this violence in Missouri was perpetrated against German immigrant communities. And the settlement in western Missouri around Concordia provides some interesting illustrations. The community around Concordia suffered four fairly violent raids by pro-southern guerillas between 1861 and 1864. The first of those resulted in the murders of about 10 members of the community by the raiders who came. All of -- all 10 of those people were German immigrants.
There were a couple of other ones in 1863. The last of them in 1864, the fourth one in Concordia was the bloodiest of those. A group who, again, claimed to be Quantrill's men; Quantrill was not there, so whether they were in fact or not is debatable. But they came into the community and basically rounded up as many of the men as they could get and executed 25 of them. Just -- you know, stand them up and shoot them in the head.

The violence was not all one sided. There was an incident actually involving a couple of German home guards from Concordia who captured -- they had captured a man who was charged with murder, a pro-southern sympathizer and they were supposed to take him to Lexington, I think, to the jail. I forget the destination. They lost him. And his body was discovered six months later or so.

But, the German immigrants in Missouri suffered fairly significantly from the guerilla warfare that took place. This impacts largely, on the families who were left behind. And I want to talk a little about the lives of these -- the German immigrant women who were left at home.

Elise Dubach Isley

Many women who had come from Germany or Switzerland or Austria were left without a husband. Elise Dubach a Swiss-German immigrant was one of those. At age 18 she married Christian Isley in St. Joseph. This was in May of 1861. When some Confederate troops were rumored to be coming close to St. Joe, Christian and other Union sympathizers, St. Joe was not by and large very sympathetic to the Union cause. It was one of those Missouri River towns that was largely pro-southern.

But the unionist took to the hills. And Elise says that -- in her memoir that she slept, I think, with a hatchet by her bed while Christian was gone to protect her from the possible or raiding, marauding Confederates. But St. Joe was spared and Christian and the others came back.

But he enlisted in the Union Army very shortly thereafter along with Elise's brother Adolf and two of her stepbrothers. So basically, all of Elise's family enlisted in the Union Army.

Adolf, her brother, died of pneumonia in February of the next year. And Elise reported that when Christian came home at the end of his three-year enlistment in 1864, she says he was, quote, "So yellow from Malaria and so emaciated from starvation rations that I wondered how he could walk." And she nursed him back to health and as soon as he got healthy and was on his feet, again, he decided he was going to re-enlist. But fortunately, for -- probably for him and for Elise as well, the war ended before he could re-enlist.

Mathilda Decker

Another young German immigrant, Mathilda Decker, she was 21 arrived in St. Louis in 1860 with her husband Robert. And he immediately enlisted when war broke out, left her in St. Louis with a very young son, a couple of years old, pregnant with $10. She had no means of support at that point. She found work as a farmhand out in St. Charles County for awhile, but as she got further along in her pregnancy that became not possible for her to continue working. So she came back in to the city, found a job sewing hospital garments at night with a sewing machine that her brother bought for her. He had saved up a little bit of money and loaned it to her. During the day she packed rations for the Army. So she was basically working two full-time jobs.

Robert came home as did Christian Isley after his three-year enlistment was up in 1864, but he was even more ill than Christian was when he came home, couldn't -- basically, couldn't even walk he was so weak. The doctors in the Army had tried to treat him for four or five months without success. And they thought he was going home to die.

Mathilda says she tried everything. Nothing worked. He wasn't regaining his strength. He couldn't eat anything. And finally she decided since nothing settled on his stomach anyway she fixed him a pot of sauerkraut. Her story is that within two weeks he was up walking.

And -- you know, the basic German cure for what ails you, worked on Robert. But as with so many -- you know, it's a funny story and -- and you could dismiss it except she's the one who tells it. So it's probably got some basis, in fact, but it's not really that pleasant of an ending to a story because Robert, like, so many other Civil War veterans and they were, as they said in those days, never quite right again.

They didn't have the terms that we've come to know as being shell shocked or suffering from battle fatigue or post traumatic stress syndrome. But, again, there are a lot of stories in family histories about great grandpa so and so who came home and was never quite right again.

Jetta Bruns

And the toll on families who had soldiers coming back like that is immense as we know from evidence around us. And then there were also families where the husbands or sons or fathers did not come home. One of Jeff City's most famous German residents Jetta Bruns and if you don't know Dolf Schroeder's book Hold Dear as Always go to a library and get it. Unfortunately, it's out of copy -- out of print.

Jetta, as a lot of other women in war do, paid an extremely high price. Her son Heinrich, her nephew Casper, were both members of the Union Army. Casper was wounded at Fort Donaldson, at the battle there in March of 1862. His left arm was amputated. I think he was hit by shrapnel from a cannon shell. He was shipped home to Jefferson City for Jetta to take care of, but he died four days after he got back.

Her son Heinrich was killed the following summer in 1863 in a battle in Mississippi. I'm not sure it was at Vicksburg. No. It wasn't. It was at Iona, I think.

Her husband Bernard who was a physician served, I think, as mayor of Jeff City for a period during the Civil War, was a Union officer. And his -- as nearly as we can tell his exhaustion caused by his work both as a physician and as a community leader and political figure during the Civil War caused him to fall seriously ill. And he died in April of 1864.
So a nephew in 1862, a son in 1863 and a husband in 1864, and she nursed her husband through about four or five months of extreme suffering. And he simply was not able to recover.

She had already lost five other children before the Civil War started including three of them to Cholera within one month's time. As I said, the price was high for many of these.

Missouri German Immigrants Prosper

Well, fortunately it wasn't that grim for everybody. And a lot of Missouri's German immigrants survived and after the war they prospered. And one of the things that they came out of the Civil War with, not a unique story, because it happens again 50 years later when African-American soldiers come home from France after World War I.

The German immigrants figured they'd paid their dues. And they were not interested in being second class citizens anymore, and they prospered. St. Louis became virtually a German city, German language newspapers prospered, German businesses prospered. This is a scene from a beer garden in St. Louis. And really after the Civil War was the peak of German immigrant culture in Missouri and it lasts for about a half a century. It lasts until World War I, until 1917.


So, the Germans had a profound impact on Missouri's history through their actions leading up to and during the Civil War and then for those who survived, the Germans saw a lot of benefits from that. They had proved essentially to themselves and to the rest of Missouri's population that they were loyal citizens. They were loyal Americans, and expected to be treated that way.

I'll be happy to answer some questions. I think we can take a few minutes for that. So thanks again for coming.