New York Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
EXPECTED ARRIVAL OF THE 20TH REGIMENT, N.Y.V., TODAY
A dispatch, just received, informs us that the
Twentieth regiment (Turner Rifles) are to arrive
at Jersey City at five o'clock today. This fine
body of men is, in fact a Williamsburgh Regiment.
Many of its officers were, when mustered
into service, residents of the Eastern District.
Major Schneph of Williamsburgh, comes back
as commander of the regiment, Colonel Von :
Vegesack being wounded at the late battle on . j
There have been a great many changes made
since the regiment left here. Some resigned,
some were taken prisoners and a large number
were killed and disabled for duty during the many
conflicts in which the regiment took part. It behaved
bravely in all the encounters, and therefore
deserves a hearty welcome by the citizens of this
district. The 16th ward will undoubtedly display
all its colors to-day, and have a separate holiday
to-morrow, as it is well known that the
Turner Rifles are the favorites of the
German population. When the regiment was
first started, Franz Sigel was invited to take the
office of Colonel, but being busily engaged in forming regiments at St Louis,
he had to decline the
position. For a short time afterwards, he had the
regiment under his command during his stay in
Virginia. Should he receive a command there, to
which he is justly entitled, the Turners, as well as
other German regiments, will soon be under his
DINNER TO THE TWENTIETH REGIMENT NEW YORK
The city authorities last evening entertained the Twentieth
regiment New York State Volunteers (Turner
Rifles), by an excellent banquet at Turner Hall, in
Orchard street. The Twentieth regiment returned from
the seat of war some three weeks since, and were, on
that occasion, received with the utmost enthusiasm at
the hands of the New York public. At the time the Committee
on National Affairs of the Common Council had not
properly made their arrangement in order to give those
regiments that formal reception which their gallant deeds
in the field entitled them to, and hence the postponement
of the banquet in their honor, which would otherwise
have occurred had everything been in proper working order.
At eight o'clock the large room of Turner Hall was filled 4 with members
of the regiment, together with a large
number of invited guests. Among those present were
Col. Von Vegesack, of the Twentieth; Major Christensen;
Aldermen Mitchell, Jeremiah, Reid and Ryers; Councilmen
Webster, Keenan and McConnell and several
others. The hall was appropriately decorated with national
flags and emblems. Prominent among them were
the German colors, while the Stars and Stripes, together
with other national ensigns, waved in social accord. An
excellent band enlivened the festivities of the occasion,
and several musical volunteers offered their quota of songs
for the entertainment of the guests. After the interests
of the inner man had been properly attended to, Colonel
Von Vegesack, of the Twentieth made some few remarks
to the soldiers, and concluded by toasting the
health of the city authorities of New York.
Alderman Jeremiah responded to the toast in a short
but eloquent speech, which was received with great enthusiasm
by those present.
After spending the time in the most agreeable manner, the proceedings terminated
at a late hour.
THE TWENTIETH REGIMENT
[June 8, 1861]
This regiment, under command of Colonel Max :
Weber, was to have left for Fortress Monroe yesterday,
in accordance with orders received, but it
will be delayed until Monday next, as the friends of the regiment are raising
a donation of money to
be distributed among the members, many of whom are greatly in need of it.
At 10 o'clock on Monday the regiment will march
down Third avenue to Union square, where a citizens
escort will join them, and on arriving at the City Hall, several flags
will be presented, after which they will embark on a transport for Fortress
The following disposition has been made of the
one hundred and twenty-one men of the 20th, who
refused to cross with Hooker, claiming that the
time of their enlistment had expired:
" Last evening the sentence of the 121 men, including
two Sergeants of the 20th New York Volunteers, who stacked their arms a week
ago Wednesday, was read to the various commands at dress
parade. They are to forfeit all pay now or becoming
due them, be dishonorably discharged from the
service, and serve at hard labor on Government ;
works during the time the war continues."
THE UNITED TURN RIFLES
This regiment, under Col. Seigle, is composed entirely
of German Turners, and numbers 780 men.
They were inspected by Major Hubbell yesterday
and "passed" to a man. The movements of the
regiment in drill were as perfect as might be expected of much older soldiers.
It is said
many of the members served in the German rebellion
and can handle a rifle with skill and precision.
THE TWENTIETH NEW YORK, Col. Vegesack
F. Waltz, G, right leg;
Cor. Jargis, slight;
Cor J Shaffe, E, slight;
A Jackers. D, right arm;
L Kalzer, C, right arm;
W E Hamner, C, slight; ;
A Zube, C, head, slight;
Cor J Lechbricker, C;
P Lenz , D, right leg;
Sgt G Stein, I, right hand;
H Freidrich, G, right foot;
D Glockner, B, right arm;
2nd Lt. F Schmidt, I, slight;
Sgt C Schmclock, I, arm;
E Kubal, A, right leg;
C Zellinski, A, left arm;
W Wealean, H, left leg;
W Leied, I, left thigh;
Capt H R Walter, H;
1st Lt A Hottewroth, A.
COLONEL WEBBER'S REGIMENT.
The headquarters of this corps is in East Forty fifth
street. They are 780 strong at present, and receiving recruits
daily. They do not expect to receive marching
orders before the middle of next week as their arms
have not yet been received.
UNITED TURNER RIFLES.
The German Turners of this city, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
and Jersey City have organized a regiment for the
service of the federal government. The full complement
of men has been enlisted, and a special messenger was
dispatched to Albany last night, with the muster rolls of
the companies. As soon as the Governor's acceptance is
received, they will be mustered into the service of the
United States. The regiment will be under the command
of Colonel Francis Sigel. Their uniform will be
the regulation uniform of the United States Army. Each company has mustered
for drill three times each day, either at the Harmonic Gardens in Essex street
or in Tompkins square. The recruits are all of the young and active men who
have undergone a regular course of training in all athletic and manly exercises;
each man is also thoroughly experienced marksman, rifle shooting forming one
of their special objects of study. There are ten full companies enlisted and
when the acceptance of the Governor is received they will be ready to leave
for the seat of war as soon as their arms and equipment are provided.
RECRUITS FOR THE TURNER RIFLES.
Yesterday morning Paymaster J. M.C. Froelich, Paymaster
of the Twentieth regiment, New York Volunteers, (United Turner Rifles), started
for Fortress Monroe in
charge of forty recruits, which complete the full maximum
number of the regiment. Lieutenant Froelich has been in this city since the
departure of the regiment, and to his exertions it is due that this fine In
passing the Herald office, the "squad" honored us with three cheers.
RECRUITING FOR THE 20TH TURNER RIFLES
By special order of Gen. Butler the force of this regiment is to be augmented
by 270 recruits . For this purpose Lieut. Col Weiss, Paymaster Fraehling
and Louis Roth of the Turner Rifles, have opened a recruiting station at
Hall in Orchard street. Lieut. Col Weiss is authorized to make requisition
on Quartermaster Tompkins, U. S. A.; for transportation.
TESTIMONIAL TO COLONEL WEBBER, OF
THE UNITED GERMAN RIFLES.
At a meeting of the German Liederkranz, on Thursday
evening, Mr. Max Weber, Colonel of the Twentieth regiment,
United Turner Rifles, was presented by some
members of the above named society with a splendid
gilt cartouch and sword belt. The President, Mr. Fred
Kapp, accompanied the presentation with a few very appropriate
remarks, saying that a twofold responsibility
devolves upon the German soldier in the present campaign,
for he had to enter not only for the Cause of his
adopted country, but also for the honor of the German
name, and to show to the world and history that the
German ranks among the first champions for liberty.
He complimented the Colonel upon his past military
career, when fighting for the cause of freedom in Baden,
and hoped soon to have occasion to welcome the Colonel
returning victorious in the midst of his brave "Turners." Colonel Weber expressed his heartfelt thanks for the
token of esteem thus tendered him by his fellow members,
and said that while he wished that their expectations
would be realized, he would strive to justify the
confidence reposed in him. After this some appropriate...ing by the society.
Several toasts were...urse of the evening, and Mr. Hugo Wesen-...ting upon
the families that our soldiers left...it a duty of every good citizen to care
for ... comfort.
PARADE OF THE TWENTIETH GERMAN
(TURNER RIFLES) REGIMENT.
This noble regiment, which is composed of German
Turners, who are most proverbial in Faderland for their
accuracy in bringing down anything at which they point
their rifles, had a parade yesterday through the city
without arms. They formed opposite Turtle Bay Park
in Forty-third street, where they have been quartered
since they became embodied, about half past two o'clock,
and started about three for the City Hall Park, by the
following route: Down Second avenue to Fortieth street,
through Third avenue to Twenty-second street, through
Twenty-second street to Sixth avenue, on to Twenty-first
street, up Twenty-first street to Broadway and down
Broadway to the City Hall, where a large concourse of
people had assembled to see them. All along the route
the Rifles were encouraged in the most
flattering manner. More than the usual quorum of the
German element was observed along the streets where
the soldiers passed with firm tread and martial mein, and soft voices, which
once rang musical along the gorgeous
Rhine, were heard singing out their appreciation of
their countrymen. Broadway, always effervescing cauldron of public excitement,
bore an appearance which to a looker on at a distance, would undoubtedly appear
gay and fascinating but not to one commingling with the crowd of uniformed
and ununiformed humanity who kept surging on in great excitement, crushing
crinolines in all of citizens and demolishing the corns of fastidious gentlemen
with tight patent leathers. On arriving in the park the Rifles broke into column,
and wheeled out into Tyron row amid the plaudits of those who witnessed their
admirable movements. They then took their departure for Turtle Bay Park via
the Third and Second avenues. It is due to the Twentieth regiment of German
Rifles to say that they are as staunch and compact a body of men as ever your
reporter saw. Their appearance is decidedly soldier-like, and their manoeuvres
show that they are anything but tyros in military discipline. Their officers
are a body of men who may be said to hold no mean position in point of military
science; and, on the whole, we are confident that the Stars and Stripes will
suffer no unrequited indignity in their presence.
PARADE OF THE TWENTIETH REGIMENT
This afternoon the Twentieth regiment (United Turner
Rifles), Colonel Max Weber, will parade, being fully
uniformed, to let the public have a view of their equipment,
and endeavor to receive their firearms. The
orders issued for that purpose designate the hour of
starting from their headquarters at the Turtle Bay
brewery, in Forty-fifth street, at one o'clock. The line
of march will be down Third avenue to Fourteenth street,
thence to Broadway, down Broadway to and around the
City Hall, by Chatham street and Bowery, back to the
rendezvous. The regimental roll is full, the uniform of
dark blue jackets and pants showing the men off to
advantage, and all they need is the firelock and their
knapsacks to be in marching order. They will probably
leave this city the latter part of this week.
DEPARTURE OF THE TWENTIETH REGIMENT,
THE SCENE ALONG BROADWAY AND IN FRONT OF THE
CITY HALL— GRAND MILITARY AND CIVIC ESCORT--
YOUNG GERMANY ALL AGOG—PRESENTATION
OF BANNERS—SPEECHES OF HON. SAMUEL S.
RUGGLES, MRS. RUPP, MISS SOPHIA BIEZEL, MRS.
STAPPS, AND CAPTAIN VANCE—REPLY OF COLONEL
MAX WEBER, ETC , ETC.
The departure of the Twentieth regiment, German
Turners, Col. Max Weber, which took place yesterday
afternoon, was one of the most imposing displays we
have ever witnessed. Young Germany was in raptures
over the affair, and turned out in immense strength to pay
its respects to the volunteers. Verily, Max Weber
and the men under his command must have felt
proud of the ovation, for it was one which came
from the hearts of the people, and spoke volumes
for the popularity of the Turners. Punctual to
the hour announced—three o'clock P.M.—the Twentieth
regiment left their quarters, at Turtle Bay Park, and
formed in a line on Forty-third street, with the right
resting on Second avenue. The men looked remarkably
well and their movements showed that they had been
subjected to some severe drilling during their stay at
Turtle Bay. Their uniforms, which consisted of blue
coats, blue pants and gray fatigue caps, presented a
very neat appearance while the condition of their arms
and equipments denoted a thorough inspection at the
hands of some experienced military men. In a physical
point of view the Turners would have gladdened the eyes
of the Old Hero of Lundy's Lane himself, had he been
present. No better material for campaigning purposes
could possibly have been selected, and if the Twentieth
do not give a good account of themselves in battle
we are much mistaken. After a short review
the order to march was given, and the
troops passed down Second avenue to Twentieth
street, through Twentieth street to Broadway, where the
civic and military escort, numbering two thousand persons
perhaps, was waiting in readiness to accompany the
Turners to the place of embarkation. All along the route
the troops were received in the most enthusiastic manner
by the German population, and at Union square,
especially, the scene was strikingly impressive. The
escort, which represented almost every German society
in the city, had several bands engaged for the occasion,
and during the march some splendid pieces of music
were discoursed. Broadway was completely jammed
during the passage of the regiment, and although the
police labored with commendable zeal, it was impossible
to keep the crowd from embracing the soldiers as they
marched along. At last the head of the procession
reached the City Hall, and passed into the Park by the
western entrance, in the following order:
Three platoons of citizens, twenty abreast.
Schuizen Gilder, accompanied by an excellent band.
Union Hill Hook and Ladder Company, of Hoboken.
Turners of Brooklyn and Williamsburg, dressed in white
linen coats and black pants.
Williamsburg Turner Verein.
New York Turners.
Deputations from the Social Reform Gesang Verein,
Fidelia, Mozart, Arion, Helvetia Dramatic Club,
New Yorker Rifle Corps, and Turners from
Bloomingdale, Hoboken and Harlem.
Police, one platoon, twenty abreast.
Duysing Zouaves, Captain Wiess, attached to Colonel Von
Gilso's De Kalb regiment; three platoons,
marching twenty-four abreast.
Three platoons of infantry of the De Kalb regiment.
Band of the Twentieth regiment proceeded by an excellent
Staff officers of the twentieth regiment.
The Twentieth regiment, German Turners, commanded
by Colonel Max Weber.
The baggage wagon and hospital tents.
The procession halted in the large area in front of the
City Hall, in order that the ceremony of
presenting the regiment with a stand of colors
might be gone through with. The presentation
of the different flags occupied about an hour, but the
assemblage, which must have numbered fifteen thousand
persons, was deeply interested from first to last. The
addresses of the donors, especially those of Miss Sophia
L. Beizel and Mrs. Rupp touched the hearts of the brave
soldiers, and at every allusion to the Stars and Stripes
and the recollections of der Faderland, their emotion was
plainly visible. The ceremonies were commenced by the
presentation of an elegant American flag by Hon. Samuel
B. Ruggles, on behalf of Mrs. Charles Edward Strong.
Mr. Ruggles spoke as follows:
Colonel Weber, of the Twentieth Regiment, New York
State Volunteers, and officers and soldiers of your
In behalf of Mrs. Charles Edward Strong, and other
patriotic ladies of the city of New York, I present you
this gift of a national flag for your regiment, which they
commit with undoubting faith to your brave and loyal
keeping. To whom could they more properly entrust it
than to you, the lineal descendants of the Germans of
those past ages who, amid the verdant forests and
sparkling waters of the fatherland, bravely battled
for liberty and freedom against the cruel domination
of imperious slaveholding and all-enslaving
Rome? Gallant Germans! Friends and brethren we
hail you as fellow countrymen and coequal
heirs of our nation's destiny. The land of poetry, song
and science, the birth place of Schiller and Mozart and
Kepler, has given you to us to share our fortunes and
our fate. This goodly western continent is not less
yours than ours; upon its broad and teeming bosom we
stand or fall together. Side by side we now battle for
our nations' life. For this very purpose it was that you
sought this western world. You came here, that you of
the present generation might enjoy that long deferred
but dearly cherished object of every German heart - a
comprehensive and united nationality. You left your
native land, dismembered and disintegrated by long centuries
of strife, that you might here breath, in freedom,
the invigorating air of one great, united, indivisible republic.
You left without regret the rival and contending
Hapsburghs and Hohenzollerns, that you and your descendents,
through coming ages might inhabit and enjoy the land of Washington; that you
might lawfully inherit and peacefully occupy the one Nobel Germans, will you
now permit this goodly heritage to be rudely torn from you? Will you abandon
without a struggle this, your magnificent domain, your chosen land of petty
principalities, can you now consent to dash down
and demolish this majestic republic -- a dominant Power
among the nations of the earth—to set up in its place
four and thirty rebel "sovereignties," falsely so called,
all in a row? Thanks to the excellence of your German
schools, you are men of education. Have you not been
taught, and do you not instinctively know, that men in these modern days must
live in nations, and can no longer live in tribes.
But what is the present treasonable attempt, alike wicked and weak, but an
to restore the ancient rule of chieftains and tribes--
to substitute the rattlesnake for the
eagle — to hold
aloft, not the immortal ensign of the republic, radiant
with its stars, but local emblems, suited only for
Chickasaws and Choctaws, the aboriginal and veritable
inventors of "State Sovereignty?" Intelligent and patriotic
Germans, you now go bravely forth to arrest this suicidal
work of madness and ruin. Trebly armed with the justice
of the cause, you march to battle to uphold the
priceless boon of national existence -- vital not alone to
us, the natives, of the soil, but to the hundreds of thousands
of loyal German hearts thickly congregated in all
our cities, and already counted by millions between
two great oceans. From this, our city and State, you go
forth to prevent dismemberment, not alone from the
misguided South, but from all your brethren of the German
race clustered around our widespread Western
waters - to preserve the national unity, not only of this
great republic, but of your race itself. In this flag as a
symbol, you carry with you the affectionate regards, the
fervent prayers of the men and women of New York,
invoking in your behalf the gracious protection of that
All Wise Being, the great architect of nations, to uphold
and reward your bravery, patriotism and public virtue.
Colonel Weber did not reply to the address of Mr. Ruggles, and as the time
was short, he said that after receiving
all the flags he would reply to the donors in one
address. At the conclusion of the address of Mr. Ruggles, Miss Rupp stepped
forward, and in a voice choked with emotion,
addressed Colonel Weber in German
in substance as follows: Brave warriors "Bahn frei." (clear the road) is the motto that graces the standard I
have the honor to present you in the name of several of
your German friends. Let this motto always be your
guide. Clear the way of all traitors and rebels that wish
to obstruct one of the most liberal institutions with
which God ever blessed a country. Carry it triumphantly
in your ranks and bring it back with you, even if it
should be rent in a thousand shreds. Your past career
as warriors for right and liberty is an indication of the
valorous deeds which I am confident you will accomplish.
You take with you the blessings of fathers and mothers,
the love of wives and sisters, and the well wishes of
brothers. Your cause is just, and the eyes of the entire
world look to you to sustain the great fame of brave men in this present conflict.
Miss Rupp was loudly applauded. The banner is made
of heavy crimson silk. In the center is embroidered
in yellow silk the motto "Bahn Frei" and on the
edges an imitation of oak leaves embroidered in green
silk. The embroidery was done by Mrs. Klein. Miss
Ottilla Steps, a beautiful young lady, then stepped forward
and presented a third banner to the Colonel, which
was the German flag of red, black and gold. Her address
was delivered with an accent and pathos, which
moved all the spectators, and tears were freely shed by
the listeners. She also spoke in German as follows:
Colonel Weber of the Turner Rifles — The earnest
moment has arrived, when you, beloved Turner brothers,
do not parade on a festive occasion. No, you are marching to a conflict of
arms - in the holy defence of
a beloved, free fatherland—for the hearth of home,
the German woman, the German virgin stands with
tears in her eyes, and looks with pain after those dear
departing ones. Then she quickly dries her tears, and
says with a high consciousness - Holy is the heart , yet
holier the liberty and the right. Thus march on - defend
right and liberty, and if it is destined that we should
meet again, then, loved brothers, shall our joy be without
bounds. Yet one symbol - a memento of those who
have remained behind - must be handed to you in this
earnest moment. Into your hand, respected Colonel, I
proffer this memento of the remaining Turner sisters.
You are the leader of this regiment, yet withal the father
of our brothers. We wish that you return those
by others crowned with victory, then will the whole family
bless your remembrance. Those colors are the old
German colors, high and holy are their significance - a
German heart, German courage and German trust. Once
more I request you, at our parting, do honor to your flag
on behalf of your sisters, as German Turners. The colors
of the old homestead inspire love and veneration for
the new one - for black, red and green are the colors that
proudly are beheld by German eyes - black, red and gold
are the colors for which the German heart swells.
The black denotes death to traitors - that boldly nails
treachery to the cross. The red is blood of Germans, that always flows for
right and truth. The gold is
the blessing of liberty, when heros have fulfilled their duty - fresh, joyous
and free all ways -- farewell.
Good fortune attend you, and rid the way of all traitors.
The staff of this banner was surmounted with a garland of oak leaves. On a
silver plate fastened to the walnut staff appeared the following inscription: "The
Twentieth Regiment Sophie, Biesel, Ottilla Steps and Eureka Biesel."
Vance of the firm of Mitchell, Vance and Co.,
then presented a costly American flag to the Colonel
which he said he did on behalf of the firm of which he was a member.
Colonel Weber, having received the four standards, stepped upon the platform
and feelingly responded. It was plain that his emotions almost overpowered
he being naturally a modest man. In the German language he addressed the lady
and gentlemen donors
with a few impressive remarks in which he said: As Colonel of the Twentieth
regiment he received their kind presents with thanks. The colors of the fatherland
should always remind him of those of his adopted
country, and the glorious Stars and Stripes of the
United States would be a stimulus in leading the men to deeds of bravery and
victory. He further pledged
himself not to return until every star, some of which
had been ruthlessly torn from the field of the flag of our
Union, should again be placed in the constellation of the
glorious confederacy which he and his followers had
adopted as their future and only home. What he
promises for himself he would pledge for those he commanded;
and it was with confidence and with pride that
he utters the feelings of those comprising the Twentieth regiment.
Adjutant Kluckhuher made an apology to Mr. Ruggles
and Mrs. Strong, also Captain Vance, on behalf of the
colonel in not addressing them in the English language,
as he was not proficient enough in that tongue to make an address.
The procession was then again formed, the vast civic
escort filing past the regiment out of the east gate of the
Park, after which the regiment followed. The line of
march was from the City Hall, through Chatham street
to the Bowery, through the Bowery to Canal street, down
Canal to Varick, down Varick to North Moore street and
on to the pier. On either side of the street from
Greenwich to the river, the escort had drawn up in line,
through which the regiment passed, amid the wildest
enthusiasm of the multitude; in fact all along the route
the Turner Rifles received a perfect ovation.
Never before has a regiment left this city under more
favorable circumstance as this corps; and no other regiment
has departed from the Empire city of which more
was expected than of the Twentieth. This is the pride
of the Germans (not disparaging the others), for the Turners
have labored under great difficulties in perfecting
their organization as a Turn-Verein. They left with the
blessings of thousands of patriots and the prayers of the
well wishers of the Union. At half-past seven they embarked
on board the steam transport Alabama, Captain
Schenck, which hauled into the stream at a late hour and
came to anchor. The steamer will leave this morning.
The German ladies have acted nobly towards this regiment,
especially Miss Steps. By her exertions in collecting
funds from her friends, she has supplied them with
the following articles, viz: 704 shirts, 704 pairs socks, 279
pairs of drawers, 480 towels. 103 flannel belts, 880 havelocks,
70 bed sheets for the wounded, four dozen combs
and brushes, and an entire camp apothecary, surgical
instruments, pin and needle cushions, and hundreds of
little et-ceteras, which only woman's care knows how to
The following is a list of the officers of the regiment:
Field and Staff Officers—Colonel, Max Weber; Lieutenant
Colonel, Francis Weiss; Major, Engleberth Schnepf;
Adjutant, Rudolph Kluckhuher; Quartermaster, Julius
Dingelstedt; Commissary, George Minch; Surgeon, Julius
Hausen; Assistant Surgeon, Charles Heiland; Sergeant
Major, Henry E Walter; Assistant Quartermaster, Charles
..orch; Drum Major, William Kaufman; Bugle Major, Paul
Company A—Captain, Lorenz Meyer; First Lieutenant,
William Kuecht; Ensign, Herrman Stoeckel.
Company B—Captain, Anthony Bracklin; First Lieutenant,
Franz Munich; Ensign, Fritz Letzeiser.
Company C--Captain, Charles Hechleituer; First Lieutenant
Otto Hoym; Ensign, Gustav Lorenz.
Company D—Captain, J. W. Einbigler; First Lieutenant,
William Drackers; Ensign, Conturier Charles.
Company E-- Captain, Ernst Otto Beret; First Lieutenant,
Henry Kicker; Ensign, Charles Volker.
Company F--Captain, Charles Femsey; First Lieutenant,
Herman Benecke; Ensign, Rudolph Beutler.
Company G--Captain, William Schoen; First Lieutenant
William Spring; Ensign, Jacob Pabst.
Company H--Captain, William Von Doeha; First Lieutenant
William Schul; Ensign, Robert Merkle.
Company I--Captain, Henry Stumpf; First Lieutenant, Adolph Wilson; Ensign,
Company K--Captain, Joseph Hoeffling; First Lieutenant,
William Hafner; Ensign, Louis Kroeck.
Our German Volunteers—A Vindication.
A member of the Twentieth New York volunteer
regiment, composed of German Turners enlisted
in this city, under Colonel Max Weber,
writes under date of Harrison Landing, Va., where
the regiment is now stationed, contradicting the
statements recently published concerning its reputed
conduct at the battle of Fair Oaks Swamp,
wherein it was said that the Germans retreated in
cowardly confusion, were rallied by cavalry with
drawn swords, and driven to General McClellan's
headquarters. The writer says:
" I suppose you have read the N. Y. and the
description of our run. I can tell you I have
never read more falsehoods put together in so few
lines. They seem to have been made up out of
pure malice to our regiment. The facts are
simply these: We were encamped on a hill together
with Mott's battery. As we had laid there
several hours, we commenced to cook our coffee,
and make ourselves easy. Suddenly a perfect
shower of shell and shot fell upon us, apparently
from all directions. Mott's battery had seventeen
men and forty horses killed in a few minutes, and
was so disabled that it was compelled to fall back.
As we were unable to see the foe, and as he fired
with such fearful accuracy it would have been
pure madness to expose ourselves any longer.
" We put on our knapsacks, took our guns and ran
into the woods about two hundred yards, when we
formed again, and from there marched off in perfect
order. We have never been in the so-called
battle of Fair Oaks Swamp. This was fought a
great distance from us, and of course it is false that we ran off for a few
miles, and afterwards
were driven together by cavalry and brought to
General McClellan's headquarters.'
Our Colonel was at the time of the shelling under
arrest, and has since been compelled to resign.
It is true we have very bad officers, and nearly all
of them will have to leave, which will be a great
benefit to us; but the future will prove that the
Twentieth regiment will always be worthy of the
name it earned at Hatteras and at Newport News.
We will stand our ground as well as any other
regiment, notwithstanding what newspaper reporters
may write about us."
Back to 20th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
March 21, 2006