I was attracted to today’s story because there was a wedding that took place on April 30. I enjoy telling the stories of the original immigrants, and this is one of them. And I have a photo of this original immigrant. That makes this story almost irresistible to me. Since this immigrant also served in the military during the Civil War, I will focus on that aspect of his life. I am in the process of learning some of the tricks of the trade about how to find out information about a person’s military service.
The groom at the April 30 wedding was Christoph Mueller. He came to America as part of the Gruber Group. In Zion on the Mississippi we see that there were three different Mueller family leaders that came in this group.
If I have this right, Christoph was part of the family of Gottfried Muller, the farmer from Paitzdorf. In this image of the Johann Georg passenger list, we see Gottfried Mueller shown with a wife and four children, including three year old Christoph.
I cannot explain why the wife and children are not included in Zion on the Mississippi.
For those of you who follow this blog, you might recognize Christoph’s older brother, Zacharias Mueller, who has been written about several times.
Christoph’s wedding took place in 1857. He had spent his childhood in the Uniontown area, only during those days, this town was called Paitzdorf which was named after Christoph’s hometown in Germany. Christoph’s bride was Caroline Franke. Caroline’s family had arrived in America in 1850. Here is a record of the Mueller/Franke wedding as recorded by their pastor, Rev. Carl F. Gruber.
You can see that Rev. Gruber describes his church as the Congregation of Paitzdorf. This couple had their first son in 1858, but he lived just two short months. Apparently, after this marriage, the Muellers began living in Appleton, Missouri. These days, this place is called Old Appleton, and it is located just across the Apple Creek in Cape Girardeau County near Uniontown.
This couple’s second child, Pauline, was born in 1860, but did not make the 1860 census. Then came the Civil War, and in 1862, Christoph went off to fight. He enlisted in the 56th Regiment of the Enlisted Missouri Militia. He was placed in Company A.
Company A was the only company in the 56th Regiment that was a cavalry unit. The 56th Regiment was formed by the governor of Missouri because there had become a problem with Confederates who were coming into Missouri and conducting raids. Other Missouri soldiers had gone elsewhere to fight the war, so another force was needed to counteract these troublesome raids. The Regiment started out merely guarding important military places, but eventually had to get involved in the fighting against the Confederate raiders.
The website operated by Cape Girardeau County has a nice page which describes the operations of the 56th Regiment. It can be found here:
In this article you can find this description of the actions of the 56th Regiment:
“The 56th also took part in operations against Marmaduke’s Expedition into Missouri from April 17 – May 3, 1863. They were in the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 26, and on April 30 – May 1, were in a major skirmish along the St. Francis river at Chalk Bluff. They were actively engaged against Sterling Price’s invasion, while his troops were passing through Southeast Missouri, during September of 1864. They were also in skirmishes at Reeve’s Mountain on November 19 and Buckskull on November 20, in Randolph Co., AR. They were also in many skirmishes near Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Pocahontas in Cape Girardeau County.”
Christoph was a private in Company A and served in this cavalry unit. I found this drawing of a Union cavalry soldier which may give you an idea of what such a soldier may have looked like.
A story persists around here that the town of Uniontown got its name because Union soldiers were once encamped near there and they could not pronounce the name, Paitzdorf, so they began calling it Union Town, and the name stuck.
Long after the war was over, a census was taken in 1890 of military veterans. Although the regular 1890 census was destroyed, we still have this Veterans Schedule. We find Christoph’s name in this census.
The first six people in this image were members of Company A, and they are described as being cavalry. On this form, you can see that Christoph was discharged in 1865.
An image of a pension form for Civil War service can also be found. It shows Christoph being invalid in 1907.
This couple ended up having nine children, some of which died early. Here is a photo of Christoph and Caroline later in life.
Caroline died in 1908; Christoph died in 1910. They are buried in the Grace, Uniontown Cemetery, but I could not find them on Findagrave.com. However, I do know they are found in their middle cemetery. One of our docents and a great researcher in his own right, Jason Klaus, happens to be here today, and he showed me photos of Christoph’s and Caroline’s gravestones.