History: Soldiers Long Ago (2009)
Contact:: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Ackeret, Adleer, Balz, Barr, Bernam,
Brisbois, Chapman, Collier, Dillon, Ewald, Follmar, Franklin,
Hansen, Hickok, Hirsch, Hunsader, Johnson, Jolivette, Krenz,
Kreutzer, Leonard, Lincoln, McIntyre, Matrhias, Merrill, Metz,
Monaque, Pangburn, Petre, Phillips, Ploof, Rietz, Sanduskay,
Schillinger, Shelley, Sherman, Sterling, Stienbach, Stephens,
----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford,
Clark Co., WI), Wednesday, October 23, 2009, Supplement to The
Tribune - Phonograph, Rural Living
Civil War Veteran Found Their Final Rest in Local
When the Civil War broke out, Wisconsin had only
been around for 13 years and most o this area wasn’t even
named. Yet this state produced the highest percentage of
volunteers of any, and central Wisconsin provided new life and
final resting place for many of the men who fought in that
Finding The Veterans.
Althea Balz of Athens, finding Civil War veterans is a natural
extension of her own heritage.
Through her work as the secretary/treasurer of
the Athens Cemetery Association she has uncovered four men who
served in the Civil War and is wondering about a
They are: William Rietz (Co. K, 29th
Wis. Reg.), James Leonard (Co. C, 6th Wis. Inf.), Frank
Bernam (Co. A, 7th Wis. Inf.), and Michael Metz (no
enlistment information available.) She also said Andrew Kreutzer
(1935-1895) is listed as a veteran but didn’t know if he was
in the Civil War.
pointed out Leonard was born May 28, 1815, enlisted November 3,
1864, and was discharged July 14, 1865, making him 40 years old
when the war ended.
"That really impressed me," she
shortage of personnel was so severe any able-bodies man was
expected to fight. Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in four
years of conflict, coming out to almost 600 dead per
put the conflict’s enormous losses on some sort of scale,
consider this: more Union men died from drowning in the Civil War
(4,944) than from all factors in America’s current war in
Iraq. There were 51,100 casualties at the bloodiest and most
pivotal battle of the Civil War, Gettysburg. That’s more that
the total of all combat-related deaths in the Vietnam War
"The war had depleted manpower that badly," Balz
Balz’s great-grandfather, Friedrich Krenz,
was lucky enough to survive the Civil War. He was a surgeon with
Co. I of the 3rd regiment of Wisconsin volunteers, also
serving in 1864 and 1865. He died in 1905 and has the tallest
gravestone in the Big Hill Cemetery in the town of Berlin in
man in the area has a very direct connection with the Civil War.
Jerry Ackeret of Dorchester has a grandfather, Vincent Hirsch, who
served in the war.
While that seems like far too long ago to claim
that direct of an ancestor, Ackeret noted his family’s
generations were widely spaced out and there’s another factor
common to many Civil War vets. After the war Hirsh married Mary Ann
Phillips, who was 25 years younger than him.
Some women deliberately went into May-December
marriages to get their share of the men’s pensions. In fact,
the last Civil War widows survived into the
Hirsch’s service was extensive, fighting in
22 battles and skirmishes. He was with Gen. Sherman on the "March
to the Sea." (Ackeret’s family later followed that route.)
After the war he participated in the Grand Review, a
celebration of the end of hostilities in Washington, D.C.
After homesteading southwest of Medford, Hirsch
was later buried there. Ackeret said he and his family are planning
on getting a legacy stone to place on the grave. He has been
impressed with the treatment of veterans’ gravesites in the
was surprised when I moved here 35 years ago how well the
gravestones have been preserved," he said.
Ackeret is hoping to honor the Civil War veterans
next Memorial Day. He noted many have had their final resting
places preserved, while others haven’t been as
"I’m afraid that some of these graves have
disappeared. Originally some just had wooden crosses," he
Where They Are.
There are at least 120 Civil War veterans buried
in more than 20 cemeteries in western Marathon and northeastern
A volunteer group, the Clark County History Buffs, has compiled cemetery records from across the region and they are available for research at the website:
Marathon County’s Civil War veterans could
easily number more than 200 in the area.
Colby cemetery has the lion’s share of them with more than 50
men resting there. they include George Collier, Carl Ewald, John
Schillinger, Peter Steinbach and Nathaniel White. The cemetery in
the town of Brighton on Pine Road has 15 who are
Dorchester Memorial Cemetery is next with as
least 13. That includes John Sterling and Silas Stephens who have
some disagreement about their final days. Stephen’s tombstone
marks his date of death at May 2, 1911, but veterans records say
it’s six years later. Sterling’s tombstone disagrees
with veterans records by more than 12 years.
Sterling, a member of Company E of the
18th Wisconsin Infantry, has been noted for
distinguished service. Stephens was one of the last survivors in
the state who marched through the South with Gen.
Dick Hunsader of Dorchester has been working to
honor the Civil War soldiers there. He initially wanted to
recognize those "forgotten heroes" by at least finding out where
they are. Now he hopes more people will take notice.
"Maybe we can get a movement where people bring
an extra flower or two and put one on a grave with a flag on it,"
Another four are documented in the Norwegian
Cemetery in Dorchester. They are: Andrew Johnson (1st
Sergeant, Co. D, 29th Inf. Reg.), Truman McIntyre (Co.
G, 2nd Wis. Cav. Reg.), James F. Barr (8th
Wis. Light Artillery Battery) and John Monique (Co. I,
17th Ill. Cav. Reg.).
Abbotsford cemetery has at least five (Thomas Dillon, John Merrill,
Sandusky Petre, Petrie D. Sanduskay and Joseph Ploof).
Paul’s Cemetery near Curtiss has two who can be honored and
another who can at least be recognized. Addie Hickok and Adolph
Matthias served through their deployments in the Civil War. Gabriel
Brisbois did not. He briefly served in an infantry unit out of
Knowlton but later deserted.
Some, unfortunately, have been lost. Henry
Franklin Shelley’s final resting place seems to have been
plowed under. He was born in Brothertown, Wis., in 1834 and married
Almire Pangburn in 1860. In the war he was a private in Company E
of the 21st Wisconsin Infantry. He was wounded in the
battle of Chapin Hills and spent a year in a hospital
wife died in 1887 and was buried in what source documents call the
Unity Township Cemetery. (That is somewhat confusing because the
town of Unity only has two cemeteries now. One is for the
Mennonites on Starks Road and the other is for St. John’s
Lutheran Church of Riplinger and is near the southern intersection
of CTH’s K and Q. It’s possible she’s in a
cemetery on Fairhaven Avenue or on Pine Road, but those are both in
the town of Brighton.)
When Henry Franklin died in 1902, he was laid to
rest on a private farm cemetery owned by Joe and Dorothy Chapman in
the town of Unity. The Chapmans then sold the farm and sale papers
specifically stated the burial site was not to be farmed over. The
new owners ignored it, farmed over the land and all records
regarding the site were lost.
Most Civil War veterans in Marathon County were
laid to rest in Wausau’s Pine Grove Cemetery but others can
be found throughout the western part of it.
There are five in St. Mary’s Cemetery in
Marathon, three in Big Hill Cemetery and another three at St.
Joseph’s Cemetery in the town of Cleveland. There is at least
one in the following cemeteries: St. John’s (town of
Hamburg), St. Peter’s (town of Hamburg), Hillside (town of
Rib Falls), St. Patrick’s (Halder) and Rib Falls Methodist
Cemetery (town of Stettin).
Wallis-Hinker Post 238, Greenwood American Legion sponsored a major
tribute to the Civil War veterans buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.
With the help of the Clark County Internet Library History Buffs,
the post did the research and published a 120 page booklet, "Civil
War Soldiers in the Heart of Clark Co., Wisconsin." It contains the
obituaries and biographies of many Civil War veterans who lived in
or are buried in Clark County.
Dick Adler, a member of the Greenwood post,
coordinated a program to honor all veterans, especially the Civil
War on August 8th, at Greenwood High School. Funds were
raised to purchase new grave markers for those who were not
properly identified. The US Veterans Affairs Department furnished
12 bronze markers and the legion purchased 27 stones. Company B, of
the 2nd Wisconsin Civil War Re-enactors along with the
Greenwood Legion honor guard dedicated the new
At the cemetery, following prayer by Fr. Joseph Follmar, Jason Hansen portrayed Abraham Lincoln by reciting the Gettysburg Address. Following Mr. Lincoln’s visit to a number of graves, a musket volley was conducted by Co. B, 2nd Wisconsin Re-enactors. Post commander Burton Jolivette said the mission of the legion was that "no veteran ever rest in an NOTE: The old soldiers article ends here on page 15 of the "Rural Living" section of the Tribune - Phonograph.
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