Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

March 30, 2011, Page 13

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

Clark County News


Civil War

Gottlieb Carl Schlinsog


When Gottlieb’s parents, Carl and Anna Schlinsog, left Germany they did so, on the basis of several factors.  One of these was the growing strife within the Lutheran Church in Prussia. The Old Lutheran group, of which Carl and Anna were a part, was being put under pressure to conform to a new Lutheran philosophy outlined by Frederick Wilhelm III and Frederick Wilhelm IV in the first part of the 1800’s.  They could not reconcile themselves to this philosophy and resented the pressure to do so.


Another factor leading to their decision to emigrate was the existing requirements that all young men of drafting age enter the Prussian army. Carl and Anna had three young sons including Gottlieb who would soon be vulnerable to this requirement.  If they wished to avoid this they had to leave Prussia before their sons reached maturity, as it was illegal to emigrate upon reaching the drafting age.


Many of Carl and Anna’s friends were also of the Old Lutheran persuasion.  Some of their friends had earlier immigrated to America and were sending back reports of free land to homestead and other opportunities offered by their homeland.


All of these combined factors led them to the decision to leave their native Prussia and resettle in America. Wisconsin was a natural choice as it was predominately German in population and many of their old friends from Prussia would be there to welcome them.


The emigration from Prussia to Wisconsin was an exciting and hectic time, but in due course they became settled and comfortable.  Home was now the log cabin they had built on 160 acres in Clark County. Their life fell into a routine of work and participation in community events. They attended neighborhood gatherings and were active members of a newly organized Lutheran Church.


About this time certain events began to be discussed at these gatherings. The question of State’s rights was hotly debated as well as individual rights and in particular the question of slavery. Gottlieb was exposed to these questions and most certainly thought about them.  He became aware that many of his friends were seriously considering active participation.


On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union and on January 9, 1861 the first shot of the Civil War was heard at Fort Sumter in the center of the Charleston harbor. 


War had begun and the Army started preparing. On April 5, 1861 President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers.  In Black River Falls a company was being formed and a group from Neillsville was organized, ready to enlist and join them.


As Gottlieb considered his course of action, he was surely aware of the feelings of his parents. They had left Prussia out of fear of military service and certainly would not encourage his enlistment now.  There were also the economic factors to consider.  He was the eldest Schlinsog son and his father needed all the masculine help he could get to clear the land and make their newly established farm a prosperous concern.


On the other side were many points for enlistment.  His family had left Prussia for the opportunities and greater freedoms of America and by and large they were receiving these benefits.  He must have felt a loyalty and sense of obligation to his new homeland, as well as he feeling that the newly found freedom his family enjoyed in individual and religious rights should be held out to all Americans, black or white.  Having experienced a taste of tyranny, he would recognize the inhumanity of slavery.


The pull of adventure and comradeship with his friends who were enlisting was also strong to a young man, so finally on a Sunday morning when the rest of the family was at church, Gottlieb made his choice.  In a note of explanation, which was left on the kitchen table, he told of his feelings of duty, along with the thought that the war would surely be over soon and if he didn’t leave now he would miss his opportunity to be a part of this great crusade.


Along with some friends from Lynn and Granton, he walked to Neillsville and together with this group he traveled to Black River Falls to enlist in the “Black River Rangers”.  This company was formed from the central and west-central part of the state around Black River Falls. The company, including officers, was enlisted into Company I of the 14th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers, led by Capt. Johnson on Nov. 7, 1861 at Black River Falls.  This company was then mustered into military service of the United States on Jan. 30, 1862 for a term of three years.


After organizing they left for encampment at Camp Wood, Fond du Lac, Wis. The company spent the winter training at Camp Wood. Each man was issued a uniform and a Belgian rifled musket, which was used in training and drill.


The men lived in tents, each tent being 18 feet in circumference and 15 feet in height. Eighteen men were assigned to each tent and the tent was heated during the winter by a sheet iron stove.


Military records of this period give a description of Gottlieb as being 22 years of age and 5 ft. 7 in. in height.  He had brown hair, grey eyes and a light complexion. His occupation was listed as a farmer.


On March 5, 1862, at 1 a.m. Company I was called into readiness after a winter of training.  They left Camp Wood at daylight for the Fond du Lac rail depot where they were loaded into railway cars. The people of Fond du Lac made up bundles of food for the men consisting of bread, butter, meat, cheese and cake. These were to be their lunch and dinner.


When the train arrived in Chicago, a two-hour parade was held through the city. At 9 p.m. of the same day, the men left Chicago and traveled all night and the next day until 5 p.m.  After they reached Alton, Ill. they boarded a steamboat.  They remained at dock until 3 a.m. at which time they started down the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Mo.  They arrived there at sunrise on March 10.  At 7 a.m. they were ordered off the boat and marched 3 ½ miles to the barracks at Camp Benton.  They were not housed in the main camp but set up outside the camp in tents. They remained there until March 23, at which time they were boarded on a steamboat that traveled up the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. They arrived at Savanna, Tenn., on March 28, where they established camp. The company was still camped at Savannah, Tenn., when the battle of Pittsburgh landing now called the battle of Shiloh, started on April 6.  They received orders to be ready to move, at alert by 4 p.m.  At 9 p.m. the troops of the 14th Wisconsin Regiment boarded steamboats, heading up river to the Pittsburgh landing, arriving at 11 p.m.  Leaving the steamboat, they made their way up the steep embankment and camped in the open as best they could.  It started to rain, so Gottlieb and the rest of his company either stood all night getting wetter and wetter, or they lay down on their rubber blankets where they got muddy as well as wet.


On the morning of April 7, they ate a light meal from their haversacks.  Being organized by 8 a.m. they moved to the front line of battle. The 14th Wisconsin Regiment advanced up on Eastern Corinth Road, gaining about a mile by noon. From this point they met and charged a Confederate battery. Eventually they gained the position but were pushed back initially and forced to regroup and charge again. It was during the charging and retreating that Gottlieb was shot and fatally wounded in the throat. The military records state that he was shot in the head.


Gottlieb’s parents heard of the battle and resulting death of their eldest son some time later through Neillsville newspaper reports.  Still later, a Mr. William Neverman visited Carl and Anna Schlinsog and gave them a personal account of Gottlieb’s death.  He was a corporal or sergeant in Company I with Gottlieb and recalled finding him on the day of the battle lying in the road bleeding badly from his neck. Being in the midst of the fighting, the most he could do at the time was to move Gottlieb off the road to avoid his being run over by horses or wagons.  He helped him to the side of the road and rested him against a tree.  Neverman was then forced to retreat to a rallying point further down the road with the rest of the Company.


This news was naturally a great source of grief to the Schlinsog family and was taken especially hard by Anna. She had risked immigrating to America and starting a new life to avoid the perils of military life for her sons.  Now, ironically, her worst fears were realized in the land she had fled to for safety.  This catastrophe is said to have been the major cause leading to her death. She never recovered from her sorrow and the shock; dying two years later while still a comparatively young woman.


One of the cannons from the charges on the east Corinth Road was captured after three assaults, and brought to Wisconsin as a trophy. It can now be seen on the grounds of Camp Randall at Madison, Wis., along with a tablet, which lists the names of those killed in that Civil War battle. Among them is the name of Gottlieb Carl Schlinsog.


A member of the Schlinsog family, in recent years, visited the battlefield of Shiloh trying to locate the grave of Gottlieb, learning that after the battle, the dead of both sides were buried in trenches, Federal troops separated from Confederate troops. Four years later the Federal troops were removed from the trenches and reburied in what is now the National Cemetery of Shiloh. Those who could be identified were buried with each one’s name on their grave marker; but those who could not be identified were given a number on the marker. All of the men from the 14th Wisconsin Regiment were buried together in one area of the cemetery; and there is no marker with Gottlieb’s name.


Gottlieb Schlinsog’s grave is unmarked, yet his death and what it symbolizes is not forgotten.  In the records of history and in the memories of his family, his actions are a testimonial to the courage and spirit of the individual American. America meant opportunity and freedom of rights to Gottlieb and he fought to make these qualities a reality for all of his fellow men.  For the future generations of the Schlinsog family, he is a personal representative of American History.


(The above article was taken from “The Schlinsog Genealogy,” that of Carl August Schlinsog and Anna Rosina (Neldner) Schlinsog and their descendants in America, which was compiled by their Great-Great-Grandson, William H. Schlinsog, and submitted through the courtesy of their Great-Great-Granddaughter, Marjorie (Schlinsog) Dahl. D.Z.)


March 1881


Our Greenwood correspondent states that the new bridge, once the property of Clark County and an expensive piece of furniture at that, will be setup and ready to accommodate the travel across Black River, on the road between the Town of Eaton and Warner, next week.                                                                     


The largest load of logs every hauled or handled on Black River was taken to the landing by a single team of horses, last Monday in Polley’s Wedge’s Creek Camp, No. 2 about eight miles west of here.


Last Sunday, Rev. W. Kalander was assisted in the dedication of his new church, in the Town of Grant, by Rev. A. Tarnutzer, presiding elder of the Evangelical Association, who preached in the German language, at morning and evening services.  Rev. W. T. Hendren, of the Presbyterian Church, preached in the afternoon.  This was a day of great rejoicing on the part of the minister and people, who had worked hard to build this neat house of worship.


Work is soon to be commenced on the new German Lutheran Church in the Town of Grant. Dan Reidel has the contract, which is sufficient evidence that the work will be well done.            


The Village of Withee situated on 34, 29, 2w, has great expectations and bids fair to become one of the important places in the County within a few years.  It now contains, aside from the railroad buildings of a stationhouse and water tank, a hotel kept by the Hamilton Bros., the store of A. S. Eaton an a saloon by James Chandler.


Ask for Tincture of Pine, for coughs and colds, the finest cough medicine in the world, at Dr. W. C. Crandall’s.


The new railroad bridge over Black River at Hatfield, on the Green Bay and Minnesota railway, is about completed.


The right kind of a boy from twelve to fifteen years of age, can secure a good job by calling at the office of Jas. A. Parkhurst, Clerk of Court. A German preferred.                                       


Mrs. Ferguson, of the Town of York, gave birth to a bouncing pair of boys’ yesterday morning, the first twins ever born in that town.                                                                                                        


The hens must have commenced their spring’s work in dead earnest, as ham and eggs is a very ordinary dish at our hotels and boarding houses.                                                                                                       


The snowdrifts in some parts of this County, far exceeds anything, which has hitherto been known in this part of the country.  In some places the roads were full from fence to fence.  On the road, which passes Mr. Howard’s, in the Town of Grant, it took nearly two days for a well organized shovel brigade to open a passage.


(The Howard farm was four and one-half miles east of Neillsville along Ridge Road. D. Z.)


Mr. N. Schultz, present editor of the German newspaper at Neillsville, has bought the Wood County Herald.  Schultz is an able German newspaperman and will furnish his patrons with a first-class paper.


C. B. Bradshaw has commenced getting out the material for the spire of the Presbyterian Church, to be put up as soon as the weather will permit outside work.



The Presbyterian Church was built in 1876 and destroyed by a fire circa 1930.

It was located in the 100 block of East Fifth Street, south side of the Street.





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