Officers of the 74th

Bret Coulson provided the biographical information below on the officers of the 74th.  The information that is just limited to death dates and burial location comes from the 74th Tombstone Inscription site.  You might want to spend a brief moment reading his demographic notes on the ethnic origins of the officers.


Schimmelfennig von der Oye, Brig. Gen. Alexander Ferdinand

Born July 20, 1824, in Bromberg, in the Prussian province of Posen.  An ensign in the Prussian army at the age of seventeen, Schimmelfennig served with the 29th Infantry Regiment "von Horn" and the 16th Infantry Regiment "Freiherr von Sparr."  When Schimmelfennig was transferred to the 16th, which was stationed in Cologne, he was exposed to the most radical German political thought.  The headquarters of the Communist League was located there, and Karl Marx's (1818-1883) influential Neue Rheinische Zeitung was published there as well.  He served with distinction during the Schleswig-Holstein War of March-August 1848.  Highly nationalistic, Schimmelfennig supported the March 1848 revolution that established a National Parliament at Frankfurt.  He was seriously disillusioned by the armistice [Treaty of Malmo, September 1848] that left the German minority in Schleswig-Holstein under Danish rule, resigning his commission on October 7, 1848.


In May 1849, the National Parliament issued a call to arms to fight Prussian opposition to German unification -- a call that Schimmelfennig found irresistible.  Nationalist provisional governments were quickly established in the Palatinate (Bavarian Pfalz) and Baden, but were crushed elsewhere.  The provisional government of the Palatinate placed its defense in the hands of a military commission comprised of four former Prussian army officers, including Schimmelfennig (and Fritz Anneke who later commanded the 35th Wisconsin Regiment).  When the Prussian army invaded the Palatinate in June 1849, Schimmelfennig attempted to stop Prussian Crown Prince Wilhelm's (later the Emperor of Germany) advance guard in a narrow defile near the village of Rinnthal in the Annweiler Valley.  With a mixed battalion of former Bavarian soldiers and scythe-armed peasant militia, Schimmelfennig erected a barricade across the road.  A platoon of riflemen under Friedrich Engels was dispatched to cover Schimmelfennig's flank in the hills above.  Having a decisive firepower edge with their new Dreyse "needleguns," however, the Prussian infantry quickly dispersed Engel's men and seized the high ground on the flanks, and then proceeded to overwhelm Schimmelfennig's barricade on the road in the valley.  As the defenses collapsed Schimmelfennig was wounded twice, including a severe bullet wound to the knee.  Rescued by August Willich, Schimmelfennig remained with the revolutionary army until its final retreat in July 1849 into Switzerland.  According to his friend M. L. Gritzner, Schimmelfennig "acquired celebrity in the battles of Anweiler, Bischweier, and Rastatt."


Charged with armed rebellion and high treason, Schimmelfennig was tried in absentia and sentenced to death. In exile in Switzerland, Schimmelfennig became acquainted with Carl Schurz, who sought Schimmelfennig's instruction in the military sciences. Forced to leave Switzerland, Schimmelfennig and Schurz then sought refuge in Paris and later in London. In London, Schimmelfennig continued his association with prominent democrats and communists such as Gottfried Kinkel, Carl Schurz and August Willich, and became "busily engaged in intrigues against" Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In fact, Schimmelfennig and Willich seized control of the Executive Committee of the Communist League from Marx and his allies, a move that split the communist movement for several years. In 1850 Schimmelfennig undertook a secret, dangerous, and ultimately unsuccessful mission to Germany to raise funds for a revolutionary government in exile, a mission that Marx and Engels actively sought to thwart. Indeed, Marx and Engels actively sought to ruin Schimmelfennig's personal finances, including writing harsh critiques of Schimmelfennig's 1854 book on a theoretical Russo-Turkish War. 


By 1854 he had made his way to the United States where he eventually became a civilian engineer working for the War Department. When the Civil War broke out, Schimmelfennig wrote a letter which was published in the April 19, 1861, edition of the Baltimore Wecker calling upon Germans to serve in the Union Army.  With Karl Schurz, he actively attempted to raise an all-German cavalry regiment, but Schimmelfennig's participation ended in June when President Lincoln appointed Schurz as his Minister to Spain.  Schimmelfennig then attempted to raise an all-German infantry regiment in Philadelphia, a project that was well underway when he fell seriously ill with small pox.  As he lay ill in hospital many of his men joined other regiments and his project almost failed.  His friend Gritzner, however, organized a campaign to save Schimmelfennig's command, and with the help of another Forty-Eighter -- Joseph Abel of Pittsburgh -- were successful in raising the 1st German Regiment, later known as the 74th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.


The 74th Pennsylvania fought at the battles of Cross Keys, Freeman's Ford, 2nd Manassas (2nd Bull Run), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the siege of Charleston, South Carolina.  After Freeman's Ford, Schimmelfennig was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded a brigade.  Schimmelfennig also had the honor of accepting the surrender of the city of Charleston, where the Civil War had begun four years earlier.  Shortly thereafter, however, Schimmelfennig died from illnesses he contracted while serving in the unhealthy swamps and marshes of South Carolina.


Fellow Forty-Eighter Max Joseph Becker described Schimmelfennig as "short and lithe of stature, blonde and fair, aggressive, combative, a little haughty, but genial, and quite dashing, the very picture and ideal of the typical sub-lieutenant of the Prussian army.  His silky, cream-colored mustache was curled up defiantly at the both ends, and he carried his dimpled chin high up in the air like a boy with a chip on his shoulder."


Anderwerth, Captain Jacob.

A member of Company B, he died on 29 Sep 1908 and is buried in St. Luke’s Cemetery in Allegheny County.  See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.

Bollstetter, Captain Charles

A former member of the Wuerttemberg Army, having served in that army for seven years, he also had taught at the Wuerttemberg Military Academy.  He served with the regiment as a Captain with Company E until 1863.

Dittrich, Captain A. Robert. 

A member of Company F, he died on 29 Mar 1909 and is buried in Section 39 of the Allegheny Cemetery in Allegheny County.  See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.

Ekert, Lieutenant George

Born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Ekert was regimental color sergeant until the Battle of Chancellorsville where he "received [his] sword for saving [the] flag and was promoted to Lieutenant."

Freyhold, Lieutenant Colonel Edward

Artist and cartographer, Freyhold began his career in the United States with the U.S. Coast Survey and then took an assignment in the Office of Explorations and Surveys of the War Department. Freyhold accompanied an exploration of possible railroad routes between Fort Laramie and the Great Salt Lake. Working with Lieutenant Gouverneur Warren of the Topographical Engineers, in 1858 Freyhold produced a general map of the possible routes for a Pacific railroad.  According to Carl I. Wheat (Mapping the American West, 1540-1857: A Preliminary Study), Freyhold "was an unrivaled expert [in drawing topography]...  His penned originals are almost unbelievably delicate, and must be examined with a powerful magnifying glass to be appreciated."  Schimmelfennig tapped his friend and colleague Freyhold in July 1861 to be the 74th’s first Lieutenant Colonel.   Ill health cut short his army career, however, and Freyhold resigned his commission in early 1862. He thereafter resumed his map making career with the Army Corps of Engineers and worked from 1862 until 1877.


Gift, 1st Lieutenant Aaron Gift.  See bio here.


Von Hartung, Colonel Adolf. 


Born ca. 1834 in the town of Küstrin (today Kostrzyn, Poland), Königsberg County, Frankfurt an der Oder Administrative District (Neumark), Province of Brandenburg, Kingdom of Prussia; died 10 April 1902 of colon cancer in Baltimore, Maryland; and buried in Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.  A former Prussian Army officer, von Hartung settled in Baltimore in 1857 and was a merchant and member of the Baltimore Sozialistischer Turnverein. Von Hartung was recruited by Alexander Schimmelfennig in Baltimore.  Mustered in 5 August 1861 for three years by Captain Joseph Hunter McArthur, 2nd U.S. Cavalry, as Captain of Company A ("Schimmelfennig’s Infantry") of the 35th (74th) Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, at Camp Egglesfield in Philadelphia.  On 10 August 1861, Lieutenant Colonel Charles F. Ruff, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, ordered Company A to join the garrison of Fort Delaware (26 August 1861 – 1 January 1862).  Assistant Secretary of War Thomas Scott determined on 21 August 1861 that Company A was ready and available for deployment.  Under arrest 21 February 1862 until 20 March 1862 by order of Lt. Col. John Hamm.  On sick leave 19 September 1862 until 9 October 1862.  Promoted 17 October 1862 to Major of the 74th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment; promoted 15 January 1863 to Lieutenant Colonel; promoted 2 May 1863 to Colonel.  Wounded in action 1 July 1863 at Gettysburg ("gunshot wound of left leg"); returned to duty from 4 January 1864 until 11 May 1864, when he went on sick leave because of disability suffered at Gettysburg; discharged 11 July 1864.  Married 7 June 1864 to Carolina Frey (1845-1918) of Baltimore, Maryland; two children: George (b. 1867) and Hannah.  Brother-in-law of Lt. Col. Alexander Theobald von Mitzel.  After the war was a U.S. Post Office clerk and pension attorney (representing Captain Jakob Jungblut, Lt. Col. Alexander Theobald von Mitzel and Captain Karl Christian Zinn).  Saw action at Cross Keys, Freeman’s Ford, 2nd Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and John’s Island.  Photograph in the possession of the U.S. Army Military History Institute (RG98S-CWP20.48) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


            Helfrich, 2nd Lieutenant Charles.  See bio here.


Hettinger, 1st Lieutenant Michael. 

Hettinger (aka Hittinger and Headinger), John "Michael" - Born ca. 1825 in the community of Epplingen (now part of Boxberg), Tauberbischofsheim County, the Grand Duchy of Baden; in 1860 resident of Birmingham; in 1864/1865 resident of Birmingham, Allegheny County, on Bradford, between Grosvenor and McKee; in 1870 resident of Birmingham (owning real estate valued at $15,000); in 1880 resident at 102 S. Ninth Street, 1st District, 29th Ward, Pittsburgh; in 1890 resident at 102 S. Ninth Street, Pittsburgh; member of the Committee on Accommodations for the 28th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Pennsylvania, held in Pittsburgh on 10 September 1894; buried in Zimmerman (Birmingham) Cemetery in Pittsburgh.  In 1861 Hettinger stood 5'7", had a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair and was a carpenter by trade.  He was married to Catherine (b . Ca. 1831 in Baden), children: Adolphus (b. ca. 1856, died before 1870), Louis (b. ca. 1858), Caroline (b. ca. 1860), Ernest (b. ca. 1862), Louisa (b. ca. 1868) and Albert (b. ca. 1872), all born in Pennsylvania.  Enrolled 6 September 1861 in the Sigel Guards by Captain Henry Amlung in Pittsburgh; mustered in 14 September 1861 for three years as a Private in Company F (Sigel Guards) by Captain Henry Blake Hays, 6th U.S. Cavalry, at Camp Wilkins in Pittsburgh; promoted to Corporal; promoted 12 September 1862 to Sergeant; promoted 9 November 1862 to 2nd Lieutenant of Company H, mustered by Colonel Kellogg at Falmouth, Virginia; promoted 6 July 1863 to 1st Lieutenant, mustered as such on 1 March 1864 by Colonel Charles Brooks at Folly Island.  Filed pension application number 886232 on 16 July 1892 in Pennsylvania (certificate number 604681).  Saw action at Cross Keys, Freeman?s Ford, 2nd Bull Run, Chance llorsville, Gettysburg, John?s Island, and James Island.

Krauseneck, 1st Lieutenant Heinrich "Henry" Thomas

Born March 24, 1826, near Tiefenpolz, Bavaria.  Krauseneck was the grandson of General Wilhelm von Krauseneck, Chief of the Prussian Great General Staff from 1830-1848. A career soldier, Krauseneck was an infantry officer in the 10th Infantry Regiment "Konig" of the Bavarian army from 1848-1856, remaining loyal to the Bavarian King during the revolutionary events of 1848-49. He then served as a Lieutenant in the 6th Regiment of Light Infantry of the British German Legion in 1856-1857. After the U.S. Civil War Krauseneck served in the Emperor Maximilian's army in Mexico (1865-1867) until he was captured at Queretaro with the Emperor.  Rejoining the Bavarian army, he served in the  5th Jaeger Battalion (1868-1876). In October 1861 Schimmelfennig accepted Krauseneck's offer to raise a company for the regiment. Despite his failure to raise the proposed company, Schimmelfennig appointed Krauseneck 1st Lieutenant of Company D. After assuming command of the regiment at Gettysburg, Krauseneck appears to have suffered a mental breakdown for which he was court-martialed, found guilty of misbehavior in the presence of the enemy, and forced to resign his commission on May 24, 1864. His case and sentence was personally reviewed and approved by President Lincoln, but was later overturned on appeal. 

Lefstrom, Captain John Henry.

A member of Company E, he died on 5 Jan 1910 and is buried in the Union Dale Cemetery, GAR section, in Allegheny County.  See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.

Meckelberg, Captain Arnold F.

          Born October 23, 1833 in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg (his parents were from Prussia); resident in 1870 of Birmingham, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; resident in 1880 of Beaver Falls, Beaver County, Pennsylvania; died May 20, 1920 in Beaver Falls.  Employed in 1880 as a druggist (at 245 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1864-65; at 49 Spring Garden Avenue, Allegheny City in 1875-76; and at 171 Chestnut, Allegheny City, in 1877-78). Member of Pittsburgh Turnverein. From June 1876 member of the Immanuel’s Church of the Evangelical Association in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Brother of 2nd Lieutenant Heinrich Meckelburg. Married Anna B. (b. ca. 1844) of Pennsylvania; children: Janna "Annie" (b. ca. 1863), Carolin (b. ca. 1866), and Charles (b. ca. 1868). First enlisted and served as Third Corporal in Company B ("Turner Rifles") of the 5th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment (90-day) from 19 April 1861 to 25 July 1861; Mustered in 20 April 1861. Mustered in 14 September 1861 for three years by Captain Henry Blake Hays, 6th U.S. Cavalry, as Captain of Company B ("Turner Rifles") of the 74th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment; resignation tendered and accepted 23 December 1862 by Special Order 142, XIth Corps. Saw action at Freeman’s Ford, Sulphur Springs, Waterloo Bridge, and 2nd Bull Run. Filed invalid pension application number 828349 on 31 July 1890 in Pennsylvania (certificate number 596822).


Meckelberg, 2nd Lt. Henry

Born ca. 1840 in the town of Oldenburg, the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg (his parents were from Prussia); applied in 1861 for naturalization papers in the District Court of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; resident in 1880 of Pittsburgh (Ward 16); died 14 March 1890 in Pittsburgh; buried in Section 33 (the Grand Army of the Republic section) of Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. In 1861 Meckelburg stood 5'3", had a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. Druggist (at Thirty-ninth Street and North Howley Avenue in 1877-78). Member Pittsburgh Turnverein. Brother of Captain Arnold Meckelburg. Married Hellen Haid (b. ca. 1853) of Pennsylvania (her parents were from Baden); children: Ester (b. ca. 1877), Henry (b. ca. 1878), and Albert (b. ca. 1879). First enlisted and served as a Private in Company B ("Turner Rifles") of the 5th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment (90-day) from 19 April 1861 to 25 July 1861; mustered in 20 April 1861. Enlisted 24 August 1861 at Pittsburgh, by Captain Arnold Meckelburg; mustered in 14 September 1861 for three years as a Corporal; promoted 20 October 1862 to Sergeant; promoted 24 December 1862 to 2nd Lieutenant; detached 23 February 1864 with his company to Battery Mahon, Folly Island, South Carolina, by Special Order 16 of Brigade Headquarters. Saw action at Freeman’s Ford, Sulphur Springs, Waterloo Bridge, 2nd Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Seabrook Island, John’s Island, and James Island. Filed invalid pension application number 237043 on 2 June 1876 (certificate number 328673). Minor’s pension application 527824 filed on behalf of William F. Haid on 17 December 1891 in Pennsylvania (certificate number 435068).   See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.


von Mitzel, Alexander Theobald

Born in 1835 in Berlin, von Mitzel served as a junior officer in the Prussian army. Immigrating to the United States, von Mitzel settled in Baltimore. He was one of the first men recruited by Schimmelfennig.  Somewhat unlucky, von Mitzel was captured at both Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. After Chancellorsville, von Mitzel was interned at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, until his parole ten days later.  After his capture at Gettysburg, von Mitzel participated in the February 9, 1864, mass escape of 109 Union officers (with 2nd Lieutenant Edgar Schroeders, Company D, and Captain Francis Irsch of the 45th New York) from Libby Prison and successfully reached Federal lines.

Vonmoss, 1st Lt. John

Promoted from the rank of Sergeant, Lt. Vonmoss’ biography is available via this link.


Niedart, Captain Charles

He is buried in the Voegtly Cemetery in Allegheny County.  See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.

Neumeyer, 2nd Lieutenant Joseph

Born on October 24, 1838, to a family of German immigrants in Birmingham [Pittsburgh], Neumeyer was one of the first wave of volunteers after the surrender of the Fort Sumter, joining Company B the "Union Cadets" of the 13th Pennsylvania, a 90-day regiment [mustered into service at Camp Curtin (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) on April 25, 1861].  The 13th was part of Major General Robert Patterson's command at Hagerstown, Maryland, and was the first Union unit to cross the Potomac at Williamsport in July 1861.  Although the 13th's term of service expired on July 25, the men of the regiment were asked to voluntarily remain in service to help maintain order at Camp Curtin, which they did until August 6 when the regiment was mustered out.  Returning to Pittsburgh, Neumeyer reenlisted at his first opportunity on August 20 with the 74th Pennsylvania. 

Ross, Christian

In September of 1861, Christian Ross, a resident of Birmingham area, south of the Monongahela, in Pittsburgh, enrolled as a sergeant of Company F of the 74th Infantry.  He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on July 6, 1862 and to 1st Lieutenant on February 10, 1863.  He resigned on March 26 of the same year.  The next year, when the 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery was being recruited, a company of that regiment was recruited in the Birmingham area.  Christian Ross became its Captain, serving from September 8, 1864 until the regiment was mustered out on June 30, 1865.  Ross was a member of the United German Evangelical Protestant Church of Birmingham (now the Birmingham United Church of Christ).  He later left Pittsburgh and died in New Jersey.  [Source:  Ruth Bucher, Soldiers and Sailors Monument of Pittsburgh]

Scheffer, Lt. Joseph C.

Lieutenant Joseph C. Scheffer was born March 1st, 1842 in Muenster, Westphalia, Prussia.  He was the 6th of 11 children, emigrating in 1860 eventually to Pittsburgh. He enlisted as a private at Camp Wilkins, PA on 9/14/1861 at age 19, and was promoted to First Sergeant on Feb/Mar 1862.  Joseph was promoted to 2nd Lt. on 3/26/1863, then to 1st Lt. 7/23/1864.  He was discharged 9/16/1864 at Fort Ethan Allen, VA.  He became a naturalized citizen on 9/26/1864, shortly after being mustered out and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, most probably because of earlier emigrants he knew to have settled there.  He married Josephine Evans in 1867, formed a successful lumber business in Fort Wayne, and had 6 children, 4 of whom lived to adulthood.   In 1872, his youngest brother John G. (my grandfather), a young veteran of the Franco-Prussian war, joined his older brother, the only other sibling of the large family to emigrate.  In  1881 Joseph moved his family and business to Nashville, TN.  Pension records from 1899 list him as an "invalid", but it is unclear if that was due to being wounded in action.  Lt. Joseph C. Scheffer died on June 5, 1902.  His wife Josephine died in Nashville Jan 25, 1917.  [Provided by descendant Paul Scheffer]

Schleiter, Major Gustav A.

Born October 3, 1839, in Neustadt, Hanover. Schleiter arrived in Baltimore aboard the ship Favorite on December 8, 1852. Settling in Coal Spring, New York, he joined the crew of a whaleship for five years.  Schleiter enlisted in Company I in August 1861, but became seriously ill the following winter. Disabled by rheumatoid arthritis and partially blind in one eye, he was promoted to quartermaster and later served as an aide to Schimmelfennig during the latter's service as a brigade commander. Schleiter became a prominent businessman in Pittsburgh after the war.  His grave denote’s his pride in his service. (Link will take you to a site maintained by Tom & Nancy McAdams)

Schroeders, 1st Lieutenant Edgar

Schroeders served as an officer of engineers for four years in the Prussian army before emigrating to the United States in 1861.  Captured at Gettysburg, Schroeders participated in the February 9, 1864, mass escape of 109 Union officers (with Alexander von Mitzel and Captain Francis Irsch of the 45th New York) from Libby Prison, but he and Irsch were quickly recaptured.  Remained a prisoner until paroled on March 1, 1865.

Waggoner, Captain John N.

A member of Company D, he died on 28 Sep 1893 and is buried in the Union Dale Cemetery in Allegheny County.  See the 74th Tombstone Inscription site for more details.

Zeh, Captain John

The “go to” guy for the regiment.  Here is his obituary from The New Castle News, 14 April 1914, provided by Jan Smit.