The file in question is the service record for Max Baerecke. I'm almost positive he's my great-great-great grandfather. The reason I can't say for sure is I don't have that one definitive document that says Max's son Harry Baerecke is the same person as my great-grandmother's father H. H. Barecke. All the supporting documentation I have says so, and an email from a fellow Baerecke researcher says so, but I need that one paper that says YES!
Anyway, I sent off for Max's service record to see what it could tell me. He was part of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. He mustered in as a Sergeant for Company "I" 17 September 1862, but was reduced to ranks 1 July 1863. Once he was docked 62 cents pay for lost shoes.
Max is short for Maxmilian. His pre-military occupation is listed as miller. He had a healthy complexion, a medium build and a height of 5 feet 6 inches. He had sandy hair and brown eyes. He was 35 years old when he mustered in. His birthplace is difficult to read, but it looks like Eisenach, Saxony.
I'm still waiting for some pension records. Based on previous research, it looks like Max had a disability pension. After his death, his wife applied for and took a widow's pension. I'm curious to see what these documents hold. Hopefully they include the key to my Harry Baerecke identity crisis.
* I ordered these records from NARA online.
[Notes for my family: Buster > Gertrude > Harry > Max]