German Born Enlisted Men in Company B 1845-48

Political unrest and widespread poverty in the German states of the 1840’s resulted in a significant wave of immigrants from those lands to the United States. Many of the immigrants headed west and settled in St. Louis. Eager to show their patriotism for their new homeland, these men rallied to the colors when war was declared against Mexico. The Army, however, was not always that eager to accept the services of non-English speakers into its ranks. Out of a detachment of 110 Dragoon recruits received at Fort Leavenwoth in 1840, there were 20 German immigants who did not understand English, causing Colonel George Crogan to remark, “It is no pleasant task to instruct raw recruits, but when those recruits are ignorant of your language, the task is ten times more tedious and disagreeable. I would suggest the propriety of forbidding the enlistment of all such persons for the future, taking care at the same time to issue a like interdict against the Irish, who (a few honorable exceptions to the contrary) are the very bane of our garrisons.”

The information that follows was gleaned from the muster roll and recruitment records for Company B of the 1st Dragoons. At the time this comnpany left Ft. Leavenworth for Santa Fe in June of 1847, over one-quarter of its privates were of German extraction.

1st Sgt. Frederick Muller 15 Apr. 1844, St. Louis, Mo., Prussia, Promoted Ordnance Sergeant and died at Fort Wood, NY Harbor, 1860.

John Baker 29 April 1845 St. Louis, Mo. Prussia, Fireman Discharged due to Disability, Chihuahua, Mexico 27 Apr. 1848

Henry Heineke 16 Feb. 1847 St. Louis, Mo.; Wounded at Battle of Rosales, 16 Mar., 1848, Discharged due to Disability Chihuahua, Mexico, 15 May, 1848: Civil War Service: Lt., 14th Illinois Cavalry

Joseph Hoerner 29 Dec. 1846, St. Louis, Mo.; left sick at Santa Fe, 10 Feb. 1848

Phillip Joost 4 Jan. 1847, St. Louis, Mo. Germany; Signmaker Deserted Ft. Leavenworth
4 June 1847

Joseph Kieffer 23 Dec. 1846 St. Louis. Mo. Germany Laborer Discharged Disability
19 March 1850, Taos, NM

Hy Kroaus (Kraus?) 27 Dec. 1846 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Tailor Discharged due to Disability
24 Aug. 1848, Santa Fe, NM

Edward Langerwelsh 13 Jan. 1847 Jefferson Bks Germany Laborer 19 Aug. 1848, Santa Fe, NM

Conrad Leffler 16 Feb. 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Laborer Discharged Disability
28 Dec. 1848, Alburqueque, NM

Frederick Lohrmeyer 19 Apr. 1847 St. L. Mo. Germany Laborer Dicharged 19 Aug 1848; re-
enlisted 1 Dec. 1855 Albur-
queque, NM

George Meyers, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 25, 1847 Wounded at Rosales 16 Mar. 1848 (lost right arm); left sick Santa Cruz de Rosales (18 Mar. 1848)

Peter Mokenhanbt 3 March 1845 St. Louis, Mo click this. Germany Laborer Deserted 28 May 1848; captured
25 Nov. 1846.; Detached Duty as officer’s servant Feb-Apr. 1848; Discharged end of service 3 March 1850

John Mokenhanbt 21 Jan. 1845 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Laborer Deserted 4 May 1846, captured
25 Nov. 1846. Discharged end
of service 1850

Jno Racener 9 Feb. 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Farmer Discharged 9 Aug. 1848 Santa Fe

Jno Scott (Schott?) 9 Jan. 1847 St. Louis, Mo Germany Painter Discharged 9 Aug. 1848 Santa Fe

Frederick Sick 28 June 1846, Ft. Scott Germany Soldier 2d Enlistment. Discharged
Disability 24 Aug. 1848 Santa
Fe, NM

John Stein 14 January 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Wheelwright Deserted Ft. Leavenworth
7 June 1847; captured 21 Dec.
1847; Discharged General Ct.
Martial 16 Jan. 1848

Edward Shobe 24 Apr. 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Clerk Discharged 19 Aug. 1848 Santa Fe
Civil War service 20th Ohio Inf. 1861; McLaughlin’s Sqd. Ohio Cavalry?

Jno Shobe 9 Jan. 1847, St. Louis, Mo. Germany, painter; Discharged Santa Fe, 19 Aug. 1848

Herman Sigler 11 Apr. 1846 St. Louis, Mo Discharged 11 April 1850 Taos

George Sigler 11 Apr. 1846 St. Louis, Mo. Dischgd 11 Apr. 1850, Taos

Wm Strobe 10 Dec. 1846 Jefferson Barracks Hanover Laborer Discharged at Sonoma Barracks
California 10 Dec. 1851

Geo. Stremmle 5 Dec. 1846 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Locksmith Discharged 5 Dec. 1851 Ft.
Leavenworth; end of service

Peter Trimborn 22 Jan. 1847 St. Louis, Mo Germany Carpenter Dischgd 19 Aug. 1848, Santa Fe; Civil War service: pvt. West Missori Volunteers.

Henry Vankaster 24 Mar. 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Farmer; Severely wounded in battle with Commanche; 26 June 1847; Discharged Disability 19 Aug. 1847 Santa Fe

Jno Wedeg 15 Feb. 1847 St. Louis, Mo. Germany Laborer Discharged Disability 15 Feb.
1848, Chihuahua, Mexico

Henry White 23 Mar. 1847 Jefferson Bks. Germany Farmer Dischrgd 19 Aug, 1858 Santa Fe

One Reply to “German Born Enlisted Men in Company B 1845-48”

  1. Interesting to see the reference to the Irish here as well. The prejudice against the Irish in the Army, as well as the Germans, was pretty pronounced and had an added religious component, in some instances, as well making them seem all the more foreign to native born American officers. Of some note, at least one of the San Patricios who deserted into Mexican service during the Mexican War was German, which is contrary to the supposition that they were all Irish.

    At least one source has stated that the fine service overall that Irish born troops provided to the US Army during the Mexican War went a long ways towards alleviating the prejudice against the Irish. I’ve never seen that claimed for German immigrants, but I’d be curious if perhaps something similar occurred in their case.

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