The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 187 - 191


Battery 1 of the 1st New York Artillary was formed in August and September under Captain Michael Wiedrich and went to the front in October. At that time was also laid the foundation for another regiment, but it did not get its full quota of men until February, 1862, when it was mustered in as the 100th New York Infantry. The space will not allow us to give more than a short sketch of the different Erie County regiments.

The 21st New York Infantry

Among the officers of this regiment we find the following German names: Adjutant C.W. Sternberg, Captain William C. Alberger, Lieutenant Charles E. Efner, Lieutenant Daniel Meyers, Lieutenant Henry C. Beebe, Lieutenant Jacob E. Bergtold. Two companies of this regiment had a heavy skirmish with a part of the Confederate cavalry, when they had gone into camp on the south side of the Rappahannock and south of Fredericksburg, easily defeating the rebels. During the war the regiment took part several times in more or less important battles and was received with great and well-earned enthusiasm in Buffalo when they returned from the seat of war, being one of the first regiments mustered out.

The 33rd Infantry

shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter Theodore B. Hamilton of Buffalo formed a company of infantry, which was known for a time as the "Richmond Guards". This company also went to Elmira where it was formed, together with other companies from Ontario and other nearby counties, into the 33rd New York Regiment of Infantry. The record of this regiment is also one of the best.

The 44th Infantry

This regiment, also known as the Ellsworth Regiment, was formed in different parts of the state in 1861. Erie County furnished Company A. It was a part of the Potomac Army and stayed in the service until shortly before the end of the war, being mustered out on October 11th, 1864.

The 49th Infantry

Buffalo, representing Erie County, furnished for this regiment, which was organized through a call of Governor Morgan on July 25th, 1861, four of the ten companies, being B, D, E and F, together 250 men and officers. The Germans here again proved their patriotism, being among the first to volunteer. Among the staff officers of the regiment we find the following German sounding names: Lieut.-Colonel William C. Alberger, Lieutenant William Wuerz and Lieutenant Charles H. Moss. The 49th had no little work during the balance of the war, and its record was one of valor and courage throughout. It took part in the


battles of Drainesville, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Golden's Farm, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Crampton's Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Marey's Heights, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens, Opequan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. This is part of the published records of the regiment as contained in the office of the Adjutant General of the state, but by rights there ought to be added to this long list the battle of the South Side Railroad. The heavy losses the regiment had sustained through the enemy and sickness were well proven when the Buffalo companies were mustered out. We find the following German sounding names among the officers of the 49th Infantry: Major William J. Kaiser, Captain F.W. Fischer, Lieutenant Augustus C. Meyer, Lieutenant Joseph Conradt, Lieutenant Julius Schmidt and Lieutenant Joseph Vosburg.

The 64th Infantry

Company A of this regiment was largely recruited in Erie County. It took part in the battles of Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Haines' Mill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, etc., and has as well as the other regiements a splendid record of bravery and courage.

The 78th Infantry

also had one company which had been formed in Erie County. The first officers of this company were: William H. Randal, Captain; Levi

Caption under picture at center reads The New 74th Regt. Armory, N.G.N.Y., Prospect Hill


Metz, 1st Lieutenant, and John Blocher, 2nd Lieutenant. At first this regiment had very little chance to get into action, but in 1863, when it was attached to the West Army, it took part in the battles of Manhatchie, Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, Lost Mountain, Pine Knob, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta. As the regiment had sustained heavy losses in all of these battles it was consolidated in July, 1864, with the 102d Regiment of Infantry. Lieut. Metz was promoted to a captaincy in July, 1863.

The 116th Infantry

When on July 7th, 1862, Governor Morgan gave orders to form a new regiment, to bring up the state's quota of the 300,000 men wanted by the President, Erie County came again willingly to the front and elected a committee to supervise the recruiting. Among the members of this committee we find Jacob Beyer, John G. Deschler and Philip Dorsheimer. The regiment was ready for service in the shortest possible time. In the first officer's list we find Adjutant John B. Weber, Sergeant F.L. Claghorn, Lieutenant Thomas Notter, Captain John M. Sizer and Captain William Wuerz with German names.

This regiment had 900 men and 31 officers, all of them citizens of Erie County, and it covered itself with glory in more than one battle. It took part in the siege of Fort Hudson, fought at Fort Williams, in the battle of Pleasant Hill, at the Opequan Creek, etc., and was soon known as the best regiment of the 19th corps. When it returned to Erie County it got an enthusiastic reception.

The 100th Infantry

was organized without any trouble by General Gustavus A. Scroggs in Erie County. Among those who enlisted were many Germans, and there were quite a few among the officers: Martin S. Kittinger, Surgeon; Charles H. Rauert, Captain; Charles E. Claussen, Lieutenant; Harry Heinz, Lieutenant, and Frank C. Brunck, Lieutenant. The regiment took part in the battles of Williamsburg, Fort Oaks, Malvern Hill, Morris Island, Petersburg, Fort Gregg, etc., and sustained heavy losses.

The 155th Infantry

Several companies were organized in the fall of 1862 in Buffalo. They were to be the foundation of a new regiment, but as the enlisting did not make much progress they were attached to other regiments. Two of them became a part of the 155th, which had been mostly recruited in New York City from among the Irish citizens. Their record in many battles was very good.

The 161st Infantry

This regiment also consisted mostly of Irishmen and had two companies from Erie County. As hospital steward we find a German,


James S. Kinsler, who was promoted to assistant surgeon when the regiment was mustered out.

The 187th Infantry

In the fall of 1864 everything possible was done to organize another regiment, but as Erie County had during the war always nobly responded, its resources were nearly exhausted, and it was only possible to organize six companies, which were mustered into the service of the United States for a term of two years in October and were nearly all composed of Germans, or men of German descent. This organization received the name of the 187th Regiment of Infantry, and was commanded by a lieutenant-colonel and a major. Below we give the list of officers at the time of muster and some other dates.

Staff: Lieut.-Col. Daniel Meyers, Major Conrad Sieber, Adjutant Carl Zeny, Surgeon Peter L. Sonnick, Assistant Surgeon E. William Wachter.
Company A. - Captain Frederick Traenkle, Lieutenants: Frank Schaffer and Johnson D. Ensign. 38 men and officers from Buffalo and other towns of Erie County, with a few from Cattaraugus County.
Company C. - Captain Charles Gayer, Lieutenants Valentine Hoffmann and Charles Bartholomy. 77 men and officers, mostly all from Buffalo and the northern towns of Erie County, with a few from Cattaraugus County.
Company D. - Captain John C. Beckwith, (names of the lieutenants were not to be had). 81 men and officers from Buffalo and the towns of Erie and Cattaraugus Counties.
Company E. - Captain Philip H. Wagner, 1st Lieutenant Albert Schoenwald. 92 men and officers from Buffalo and Erie County.
Company G. - Captain Frank Mauermann, 1st Lieutenant Geo. H. Hodges. 86 men and officers from Erie, Wyoming and Niagara Counties.
Company I. - Captain Daniel Loeb, Lieutenants Frederick C. Hyde and Henry Tyler. 86 men and officers from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.

The 187th was attached to the Potomac Army before Petersburg, and took part in the military operations which resulted in the surrender of that city, and later in that of Richmond. In the battle of Hatcher's Run the regiment sustained a loss of 60 men in killed and wounded, and it also took part in smaller affairs with more or less loss. The regiment, or better the batallion, was mustered out on July 1st, 1865, at which time the officer's list showed the following names: Lieut.-Col. Daniel Meyers, Major Conrad Sieber, Surgeon P.L. Sonnick, Asst. Surgeon E.W. Wachter, Adjutant Henry Tyler, Captains


Frederick Traenkle, John C. Beckwith, Philip H. Wagner, Frank Mauermann, Daniel Loeb and Frank Schaffer, and the 1st Lieutenants Valentine Hoffmann and Alb. Schoenwald.

The 10th Cavalry

Four companies of this regiment, also known as the "Porter Guard", were recruited in Erie County. They covered themselves with glory at Leesburg, Brady Station, Middleburg, Gettysburg, etc.

The 11th Cavalry

Company M of this regiment was recruited in Buffalo. The regiment, which was also known as "Scott's 900", was mustered in the winter of 1861-62, and was stationed mostly in Louisiana. The largest engagement it took part in was that at New River.

The 12th Cavalry

This regiment, sometimes known as the "Third Ira Harris Guard", had two companies (K and M) from Buffalo. Its greatest engagement was at Wise's Ford on May 8th, 1865.

The 14th Cavalry

had only one Erie County company. It was stationed mostly in Louisiana, where it did good service.

The 16th Cavalry

was mustered in between July and October, 1863, and had four companies from Erie County. It had two officers with German names, Captain Joseph Schneider and 2nd Lieutentant Julius Winsperger, who also reached a captaincy. The regiment fought most of the time in North Carolina.

The 24th Cavalry

This regiment was recruited in Erie and a few eastern counties. Three companies consisted exclusively of Erie County men. It took a prominent part in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Petersburg, Reams Station, etc.

The 2nd Mounted Sharpshooters

were formed in the summer and fall of 1863 in Erie County and other western parts of the state. The regiment was attached to the Potomac Army and fought at Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Bethesda Church, Weldon Railroad, Pegram's Farm, Hatcher's Run and Poplar Spring Church.

Wiedrich's Battery

One of the best known and most famous organizations sent to the war by Erie County was without a doubt Wiedrich's Battery. It was formed in August, 1861 as Battery 1 of the 1st New York Artillery, but took part in the greatest part of the war as a separate organization.

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Revised April 24, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks