Saturday, July 7, 2012

Louis Thomser Civil War Soldier

A recent find of mine is the connection that I have made between my Great Great Grandfather's son in-law served as a union soldier. Louis Thomser was from Gotzenbruck, France and immigrated to the United States. He enlisted on August 16, 1861 at the age of 19 in the Union Army. He was a private in Company I, 68th Infantry Regiment New York. He mustered out at the rank of Second Lieutenant on May 30, 1864 after he was shot. He applied for his pension in 1870. From his pension record we know that he was a glassmaker. After the war he was listed in a directory as a packer in the same factory.

This is the information that I found about the regiment on the Civil War Archive website.

68th Regiment Infantry "Cameron Rifles" "2nd German Rifle Regiment"

Organized at New York City August 1-20, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., August 24, 1861. Attached to Blenker's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. Blenker's Brigade, Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac, to November, 1861. Steinwehr's 2nd Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, Blenker's 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1862. 2nd Brigade, Blenker's Division, Mountain Department, to June, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Corps, Pope's Army of Virginia, to July, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, to May, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps, to July, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 11th Army Corps, to October, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1864. Unattached, 4th Division, 20th Army Corps, to July, 1864. 3rd Brigade, Defenses of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, to December, 1864. Unattached, District of the Etowah, to March, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Separate Division, District of the Etowah, to July, 1865. District of Allatoona, Ga., to November, 1865. District of Savannah, Ga., to November, 1865.
SERVICE.--Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., until April, 1862. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. Movement to Winchester, Va., April 5-18. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley until June. Battle of Cross Keys June 8. Duty at Sperryville July 7 to August 8. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defenses of Washington until November 1. Movement to Centreville November 1-18. Advance to Fredericksburg, Va., December 9-16. At Stafford Court House until April 27, 1863. "Mud March" January 20-24. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Guard duty along Orange & Alexandria Railroad until September. Movement to Bridgeport, Ala., September 24-October 3. Operations in Lookout Valley, Tenn., October 19-26. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29. Battle of Wauhatchie, Tenn., October 28-29. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Orchard Knob November 23. Tunnel Hill November 24-25. Mission Ridge November 25. March to relief of Knoxville, Tenn., November 28-December 17. Assigned to Railroad Guard and garrison duty in the District of Nashville, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, until July, 1865. Elrod's Tan Yard January 27, 1865 (Detachment). Skirmish at Ladd's House, Hog Jaw Valley, February 3-4 (Detachment). Skirmish at Johnson's Crook.February 10. Duty in District of Allatoona, Ga., until November, 1865, and at Savannah, Ga., November, 1865. Mustered out November 30, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 38 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 74 Enlisted men by disease. Total 118

The following information was taken from New York State Military Museum.

68th Infantry Regiment
Civil War
Cameron Rifles; Second German Rifle Regiment
Mustered in: August 1-20,1861
Mustered out: November 30, 1865
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Colonel Robert J. Betge received authority from the War Department, July 22, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry. The regiment was organized in New York City and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years, between August 1 and 20, 1861. The men were mostly recruited in New York City, a few in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It was recognized by the State and numerically designated August 19, 1861. The three years' men of the 8th and 29th Infantry, two independent companies, were, in April, 1864, transferred to the regiment, which, at the expiration of its term of service, was retained in the service, the men entitled thereto having been discharged.
The regiment left the State August 24, 1861; served in Blenker's Brigade, Division of Potomac, from August, 1861; in Steinwehr's Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October, 1861; in the Mountain Department, same brigade and division, from April, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 1st Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 12, 1862; in the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from April, 1863; in the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from July, 1863; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 11th Corps, from March, 1864; in the 4th Division, 20th Corps, from April, 1864; in the District of Nashville, Department of Cumberland, 3d Brigade, defenses N. & C. R. R., from May, 1864; in the District of Allatoona, Ga., from July, 1865; in the District of Savannah, Ga., from November, 1865; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, commanded by Col. Felix Prince Salm, November 30, 1865, at Fort Pulaski, Ga.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 3 officers, 23 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 19 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 73 enlisted men; total, 7 officers, 115 enlisted men; aggregate, 122; of whom 8 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Sixty-eighth Infantry.—Cols., Robert J. Betge, Gotthils De B. D. Inemais, Felix Prince Salm; Lieut.-Cols., John H. Kleesisch, Carl Vogel, Albert Von Steinhausen; Majs., Albert Von Steinhausen, Carl Von Vedell, Robert Rother, Adolph Haack, Arnold Kummer. The 68th, the 2nd German Rifles, was composed of members from New York city, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and was mustered into the U. S. service at New York Aug. I and 20, 1861, for a three years' term. It left for Washington on Aug. 24, was first attached to Blenker's brigade, but in October formed a part of Steinwehr's brigade, Blenker's division, and served in the vicinity of Washington until the spring of 1862, when it was ordered to the Mountain Department and became a part of Fremont's forces. At Warrenton Junction the regiment lost 2 missing, its first loss, and it was active at Cross Keys. On June 26, 1862, it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 1st corps, and served in the Virginia campaign under Gen. Pope with a total loss of 92. On Sept. 12 it was attached to the 1st brigade 3d division, nth corps, which was posted near Centerville during the Maryland campaign, and there remained until December, when it was ordered to Fredericks-burg, but did not participate in the battle. Winter quarters were established near Stafford, Va., and in April, 1863, the regiment was transferred to the 1st brigade, 1st division, with which it fought at Chancellorsville, losing 54 in killed, wounded and missing. At Gettysburg the total loss was 138 and the regiment won high praise for its gallant work in the defense of Cemetery hill. In July the 68th was assigned to the 3d brigade, 3d division, with which it was ordered west. It was present at the battle of Wau-hatchie, Tenn., and in the Chattanooga campaign. During the winter of 1863-64 a large number of the men reenlisted and in April, the three years' men of the 8th and 29th N. Y. infantry were added to the ranks, the command remaining in service as a veteran regiment. During the summer of 1864 it served in the Districts of Nashville, Tenn., and Allatoona, Ga., and in November, was ordered to Savannah, Ga. The original members not reenlisted were mustered out at the expiration of their term of service and the remainder of the regiment at Fort Pulaski, Ga., Nov. 30, 1865. The 68th lost during service 46 by death from wounds and 75 from other causes.
Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer
Monument at Gettysburg
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Unit Roster
Further Reading
This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.
Fritsch, Friedrich Otto. A gallant Captain of the Civil war, being the record of the extraordinary adventures of Frederick Otto Baron von Fritsch, compiled from his war record in Washington and his private papers. Edited and compiled by Joseph Tyler Butts. New York: F. Tennyson Neely 1902.
Muster Rolls of New York State Volunteer Units, 1863-1864.Description: 2 cu. Ft.
abstract: This series consists of 99 muster rolls from the 5th and 13th New York Calvary, and the 58th, 68th, 119th, and 141st New York State Volunteers. Each muster roll contains the following information: name and rank of the soldier, where and when they were mustered in, person they were mustered in by, age (in years), terms of service, and a breakdown of their salary due for the months indicated on the muster rolls. Also included with some of the muster rolls are vouchers for articles that the soldiers lost while marching and forms regarding servants for the officers.
Numerical by regiment, then alphabetically by company./ Item list./ The muster rolls were compiled by Major George P. Lawrence who served in the United States Army's Paymaster Department from July 24, 1863 until he resigned his commission on May 3, 1864. Upon his resignation, Lawrence took his set of muster rolls back home with him to Massachusetts instead of forwarding them on to the proper authorities. At some point Lawrence deposited the muster rolls with the Massachusetts National Guard which is where they remained until they were recently discovered and transferred to the New York State Archives by the Director of the Massachusetts National Guard Military Museum and Archives in February of 2006.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Items in the museum collection are in bold.

68th Regiment
New York Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History

68th Regiment
Battles and Casualties
Civil War
New York
68th Regiments Battles and Casualties - for an accessible version of this graphic please email

Above is the complete muster roll for the 68th link.
Below is the copy of Thomser's listing.

THOMSER, L O U I S .— Age, 19 years. Enrolled at New York
city, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. I,
August 16, 1861; promoted corporal, October 14, 1862; sergeant,
January 1, 1863; first sergeant, March 19, 1863; reenlisted
as a veteran, January 1, 1864; mustered in as second
lieutenant, Co. F , May 30, 1864; mustered out with company,
November 30, 1865, at Fort Pulaski, Ga.
Commissioned second lieutenant, November 13, 1863, witb
rank from May 19, 1863, vice G. Gerritzer, resigned.

Shared photo book from Mary Ann

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