Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Ancestral Ties to the Civil War

Battle of Calcasieu Pass Civil War Memorial
Cameron Parish Courthouse, Louisiana

This week marks the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War. Many genealogy bloggers are writing profiles of their ancestors who fought. I've enjoyed reading these.

Though I don't have the time to write profiles of my own, I thought that the 1.5 family members who read my blog might be interested in knowing who in their family tree participated in the Civil War.


Maximillian Baerecke 1827-1904 ( Max > Harry > Gertrude > Buster )
Max Baerecke was a German immigrant living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served in the 26th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, Company I. A book called The Sigel Regiment by James S. Pula (affiliate link) was written about this group and their experiences including Gettysburg. Max is in there. He also served in the Mexican War. [Note to family: I own this book if you ever want to borrow it. --Amy]

Joseph Smith 1826-1903 ( Joseph > Mary > John A > Buster )
Joseph Smith (also Schmidt) was a German immigrant living in Kilkenny, Minnesota. He served in the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Company I. His pension file doesn't say much about his experiences and I haven't investigated further yet. Joseph also served in the Mexican War.


John Laurens Williamson 1811-1862 (John > William > Sam > Doris )
I haven't researched this person's service too much. Confederate records are more challenging to search, plus there are a few John Williamsons out there. I did read in an unsourced book, that John was injured in his leg in the War. He died at home in Pope County, Arkansas, but his injuries may have contributed to his passing.

Richard M. Jones 1828-1864 ( Richard > Frank > Frankie > Doris )
The photo at the top of this post is a memorial that has Richard's name on it as "Sgt. R.M. Jones." This is the only ancestor I know of so far that died in battle. You can read about the Battle of Calcasieu Pass at this website.

All of these men are my great-great-great grandfathers. There may be more ancestors out there who served in the Civil War. I just haven't found them yet.

So, dear family, when you see stories about the Civil War on television, know that you have roots on both sides of the battle. Also, there will be a quiz on this at Christmas.


  1. Cool. I don't think I have any ties to the Civil War. I hope your family is grateful for you sharing this with them.

  2. Love this! Great succinct info, and I'm hopeful that your 1.5 family members will someday be glad to know where to find these details for that 5th grade history project :-) How amazing to have ancestors on both sides--sounds like the beginning of a book!

  3. Thanks for sharing this. Since much of my immediate family if from the north, I hadn't even considered checking for relation in the Confederate Army. There are probably a few cousins since my line of Brassfield's came from North Carolina in the early 1800s.

  4. Quiz at Christmas?? So much pressure. Love the Civil War details in the family history. Your work to put the pieces together for us all is so appreciated.

  5. Granny L, sorry that I haven't found any Civil War action on your side. 3 of your 4 grandparents had immigrant parents and I haven't figured out the other one yet.

  6. LOL @ the 1.5 family members...

    A pregnant cousin?