On June 2, 1864, Johann Jacob Seibel married Matilda McCauley. Our German Family Tree says that this marriage is in the Perry County Marriage Records, but it’s a record I could not find on Ancestry.com. I am not in Altenburg today, so I cannot research this further, but this is a story I really want to tell today.
Matilda McCauley was the daughter of James Meredith and Rosannah (Miles) McCauley who lived in the Bois Brule Township of Perry County. The 1860 census shows Matilda at age 14 as one of ten children living in the McCauley household. The 1860 slave schedule shows the McCauleys owning four slaves. Here is a photo which shows the McCauley homestead.
Johann Seibel was the son of Johann and Elizabeth (Theiss) Seibel, who were part of the New York Group that joined the colony of immigrants in Perry County in 1839. In fact, it was in 1839 that Johann Jacob was born on September 17th. Johann was one of the first babies baptized as part of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church records say that he was baptized on September 22, 1839 in camp. At that point in time, the newly arrived immigrants had no structure in which to worship. There were two Seibels that were part of the New York Group, Johann (a cooper) and Jacob (a tailor). They were likely brothers.
When the Civil War was taking place, Johann became a part of the 64th regiment as a 1st. sergeant. This regiment was under the leadership of Captain William T. Wilkinson.
Johann was promoted to captain.
And he was transfered to the 8th regiment of the Enlisted Missouri Militia.
He served until November 8, 1863.
The following statement describes the service of the 8th regiment.
Duty at Cape Girardeau and in District of Southeast Missouri. Expedition from Cape Girardeau and Pilot Knob to Pocahontas, Ark., August 17-26, 1863. Expedition to Big Lake, Mississippi County, September 7-30, 1863. Ordered to Pilot Knob October 1. Mustered out October 26, 1863.
Pocahontas, Arkansas, was a place where Confederate leaders would sometimes gather to formulate strategy, so Union soldiers were sometimes sent there to check things out. Mississippi County was an area of Missouri known for its ties to the Confederacy. Captain Seibel was out of the military by the time a battle took place in Pilot Knob in September of 1864.
It was upon returning home from serving in the Union militia that Johann and Matilda were married. Johann was a German Lutheran and that, along with the fact that he fought for the North in the Civil War, indicates his opposition to slavery. Matilda’s family, on the other hand, owned several slaves. This makes for quite an interesting marriage. I can only imagine some of the conversations which must have taken place during family gatherings. As a result of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, the McCauley family would lose its slaves.
By the time of the 1870 census, Johann has managed to become a lawyer living in Perryville. In the 1880 census, he is described as a probate judge. In 1900, Johann is back to being described as a lawyer, but we also find that Matilda is given the occupation of dressmaker. Nowhere in any census or in any family histories on Ancestry.com do you find this couple having any children. At the age of 70 in the 1910 census, Johann is still shown as having his own law office.
Johann died on January 12, 1917. Here is his death certificate.
Johann is buried in the Home Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri. His gravestone has the name Capt. Johann Seibel on it, and it recognizes his service in the 64th regiment.
Matilda died on February 16, 1926. Here is her death certificate.
Matilda is buried in St. Boniface Cemetery in Perryville. Here is her gravestone.
Captain Seibel’s life story shows that one of his strengths was in his leadership skills. He was a leader in the military and a leader in his community.