Bio: Buker, Friedrich Herman Konrad (Civil War Veteran - 2004)


Surname: Buker, Peters, Haigh

----Source: Loyal TRG (Loyal, Clark Co., Wis.) 09/08/2004



(Civil War soldier Friedrich Buker's gaves was marked only by a flag holder for nearly 80 years.  A new headstone now marks his resting place)

For almost 80 years, no headstone marked the grave of Friedrich Herman Konrad Buker. His great-great grandson did not think such a circumstance was befitting a decorated Civil War hero.

And so Marcus Buker of Madison began a quest earlier this year to see to it that Friedrich Buker was duly honored for his exploits for the Union Army in its battle for a nation in the 1860s. At long last, on Aug. 28, some 29000 plus days since Friedrich Buker was laid to rest in the countryside cemetery of a church he helped found, a white headstone was dedicated in his honor.

“The march of this soldier is over,” said Commander Brian Peters of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Old Abe Camp #8 in leading the dedication of the headstone at the Immanuel United Church of Christ Cemetery along Clark County Trunk Highway O northwest of Greenwood. “Let us remember Comrade Buker here at rest under the blue skies of heaven, guarded by the silent stars that in life watched over him when he bivouacked on the battlefields or lay down weary and footsore on the soil of the Southland.”

The obituary of Friedrich Buker published in the Nov. 6, 1924; issue of The Greenwood Gleaner reported that “an unusually large crowd of relatives and friends attended the funeral to pay their last respects to one who was loved by all.” He was among the Founders of Immanuel Lutheran(?) Church and was known for his service in the Civil War.

Buker was born in Germany in 1840. He moved with his family to Sheboygan County when he was 6. He married after he returned from the war, then moved to Clark County in 1872. He was a farmer, and eulogized in his obituary as “a true Christian, a kind father and loving husband.”

Buker left behind a detailed journal of his war experiences. They were kept by a relative, Clark Haigh, and partially submitted to the State Historical Society in 1974. The manuscript was written in 19th century German script, so Marcus Buker enlisted the help of German Professor Donald Becker of Madison to translate them.

The translated journal is a fascinating narration of Friedrich Buker’s journey through the war torn southern United States in the early 1860s. He battled illness and Rebel troops in his years on the front lines in such famous Civil War battlefields as Vicksburg.

Over and over again in his writings, Buker praises his God and credits a higher being for getting him through the battles. Near the end of his memoirs, he wrote, “Not many people have been given as much as my Heavenly Father has given me. During the War, I was able to tell our soldiers in the evening where the Rebels would be the next morning and what they intended to do, and that we would defeat them. It appeared strange to them that I knew that, and that every time it happened in precisely the way that I predicted it would. We had someone in our Company C who could not understand it at all. However, after he had seen three times in a row that our generals did exactly as I had predicted, he became quite calm, and he said, ‘It happens each time exactly as you said it would.’ Dear reader, it gave me pause, too. But I recognized Good’s goodness and thanked Him from the depth of my soul.”

More than 140 years after his great-great grandfather lived those experiences, Marcus Buker finds lessons in his ancestor’s words. In notes he wrote to introduce the memoirs, Marcus Buker said, “In this time of conflict and confusion, in our lives, in our families, and in our world, reading this causes one to pause, to reflect on what is going on. Perhaps through the writing and wishes of this man can come refreshment, healing and peace.”

At the dedication, Marcus Buker said the belated act of dedicating a headstone is “fitting and proper.”

“I don’t know if (Friedrich ) would’ve been comfortable with all this ceremony, but I and several others thought he at least ought to have a headstone.” Marcus said.

Peters, of Stevens Point, noted that only a Grand Old Army of the Republic (GAR) flag holder had marked Friedrich’s grave until last week. One of the missions of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is to preserve the memory of a set of American war heroes who have been forgotten for the fresher memories of world wars, Korea, Vietnam and other more modern conflicts.

Peters said his Omro based group has done other cemetery ceremonies for Union veterans, although Buker’s case was unique because his burial site had never been marked.

“This was one of the first ones we’ve done when the grave was not marked previously,” Peters said. “He finally got a headstone.”

Peters said his 5- member group also does Memorial Day ceremonies and Civil War re-enactments. Like many of his Comrades in Old Abe Camp, he had a family member who fought in the war to prevent the United States from splintering. His great-great grandfather saw combat from 1862 until the war’s end. He trained at Camp Randall in Madison, and fought under General Sherman in Vicksburg and Atlanta. His grandmother, Peters said, told him stories of his great=great grandfather’s war days.

Peters said a belief that such men must be kept alive in history is what drives his group.

“A lot of our members have ancestors that served in the war,” He said. “We’re also of the feeling that veterans need to be remembered for the sacrifices they made for freedom. The Civil War was a pivotal place in our history. We just do not want it to be forgotten. It’s vital for all the wars to be remembered. We feel all the veterans need to be remembered, no matter what war they came from.”

Now, Friedrich Buker’s headstone stands as a stone reminder that he once lived, and that he dodged cannon balls and aided wounded comrades on the storied battlefields of the deep south. From the heart of a great-great grandson he never knew, and the descendants of others who fought alongside him, Buker has now received his long overdue respect.

Camp Old Abe Commander Peters, on a cool late summer day in 2004, closed Buker’s last chapter.

“Taps are sounded,” he said. “Lights are out. The soldier sleeps.”




Sons of Union Veterans of the Civl War Old Abe Camp #8 members dedicate the new headstone of former Greenwood resident Friedrich Buker, a Civil War Soldier who died in 1924.  Camp Commander Brian Peters, Stevens Point, leads the Aug. 28 ceremony at the Immanuel United Church of Christ Cemetery along Highway O northwest of Greenwood.  Camp Captain, Dan Wilson, Waupaca, (right) rectied a blessing over the grave.  Brother David Dressang, Green Bay, (left) stands guard over the burial site.  The graveside memorial services were conducted at the requets of Buker's great-great-grandson, Marcus Buker, Madison, who discovered his ancestor's service record while working on a family genealogy project.






Marcus Buker, Madison, great-great-grandchild of Friedrich Buker, speaks of his ancestor's achievements.




Old Abe Camp rifle squard commander Alan Petit, New Londn, stands at parade rest during the graveside memborial services for Friedrich Buker.




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