Friday, August 19, 2005

Did Daniel Krauss serve in the Civil War?

The Krauss family emigrated from Germany in about 1861, first settling in Whitewater, Wisconsin.
“Shortly after their arrival in this country, the family’s oldest son, Daniel, entered the service as a blacksmith shoeing horses for the Union Army in the St. Louis area. Here he re-established connections with the Kuehner family* of Columbia, old friends of his parents. In time, they and young Daniel influenced his parents to leave Wisconsin and migrate to Illinois.” (from The KRAUSS Family of Columbia, Illinois and Descendants of the Second Daughter, Caroline, 1964 by Florence Young Barnes).
There was some irony in this, because one probable reason the Krauss family left Germany was the continuing political unrest and the liklihood their sons would be pressed into the military.

The question is, can we find any evidence of Daniel's service during the Civil War?

The short answer is that no clear evidence that Daniel was in the military has been found. There were enlisted men that worked as military blacksmiths. However, it is possible that Daniel was pressed into service as a civilian, thus was never officially in the military. So what information is out there?

1. The only Daniel Krauss (or Kraus, Krauss, Krause, Krausz, Krans) that is listed in the searchable Civil War records is probably not related. It is unclear whether Daniel began serving the army in Wisconsin, or if he traveled to the St. Louis area first.

• A Daniel Krauss enlisted in the 26th Infantry Regiment of Missouri Volunteers (company G). Daniel was an 18 year old resident of St. Louis when he enlisted on November 23, 1861. No occupation is listed. In 1861 our Daniel would have been 21, so it's unlikely this was the same person.

• A John D. Krauss (note that Daniel's father's full name was Johann Daniel) served in the 5th Regiment of the Missouri Infantry Volunteers, Company A. This regiment was formed in St. Louis. No additional details about John's service are known. According to the Civil War pension application files, he was married to a woman named Jacobina, so he was definitely not our Daniel.

2. If Daniel did serve during the Civil War, he could have been in the same unit as Louis Kuehner. Unfortunately, we don't know if Louis Kuehner was a civil war veteran either. In 1860 he and his family* were living in Columbia, Monroe County, Illinois. Some Monroe County men traveled to St. Louis to enlist, so it isn't unreasonable that Louis did so as well. (note that there was a different Louis Kuehner of approximately the same age that lived in St. Louis). Louis was 30 years old in 1861.

• A "Louis Kuerner" enlisted as a private in the 43rd Illinois Infantry, Company H. At that time he was a resident of St. Louis. Many of the other members of this unit resided in Monroe County at the time they enlisted.

• A "Louis Kuhner" enlisted in Company G of the 13th Enrolled Missouri Militia. Louis enlisted September 25, 1884 in St. Louis and was relieved from duty October 31 of that year (he was AWOL October 22 - November 2).

Unfortunately from this sketchy information, we cannot conclude that either Daniel or Louis were enlisted during the Civil War. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Daniel did not serve in the capacity of an unenlisted blacksmith, either. The question remains open. (Daniel did work as a blacksmith his entire life in Columbia).

* We know that the Kuehners were more than "old friends"; Louis' wife Catharine (nee Maurer) was Daniel's cousin. See the post about the Krauss family in Becherbach for more details.

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (maintained by the National Park Service)
Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865
Missouri Soldiers Database: War of 1812 - World War I
Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers: 1861 - 1866 (not a database of soldiers, rather "thousands of pages of documents detailing the way the provost marshal affected the lives of Missouri citizens who came into contact with the Union Army.")
Missouri Militias
Database of Illinois Civil War Veterans
Database of Illinois Civil War Veterans of Missouri Units
Civil War Soldiers buried in Monroe County, Illinois
German Americans in the Civil War

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