Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Memorial to "Wiedrich's Battery."

Picture of the Survivors of Wiedrich's Battery Taken at the Unveiling
of Their Monument at Gettysburg, May, 1889.

Of the men photographed in this picture twenty-nine are now living.
Col. Wiedrich is in the center of the group.

Buffalo Courier


Page 1


War scarred heroes - survivors of

Weidrich’s Battery are slowly

retreating into the great unknown --

the story of Weidrich and his men.

William Brown

Bent down and aged with fighting the

battles of life, .With the enemy a positive

conqueror in the end, the few remaining

war - scarred heroes who once composed

Company I, 1st New York Light Artillery,

but who are better known as members

of Weidrich’s Battery, are slowly

passing beyond the lines where retreat is


Lieut. Christopher Schmitt

No body of men who marched to quell

the War of the Rebellion saw more hard

service than did old Michael Wiedrich

and his little band, who left Buffalo in

1861 and offered their services to fight

for their adopted country.

John Stortz

When the Southern part of the United

States saw fit to attempt a separation,

then it was that the echoes of those guns

which were turned against this government

upon Maj. Robert Andersons command

at Fort Sumter by the State of

South Carolina -- like the shot which at

Concord in 1775, was heard around the

world -- echoed through this country, from

the Atlantic to the Pacific, starting the

people , as does the lighting in the

clouds, and which for a period apparently

dies away but the thunder which

follows awakened the people to a realizing

sense of security and to the fact

of the determination of the south to

sever, if possible, bonds uniting them

to the North.

Fred Smith. Sergeant

Loyalty was not confined to the native

born Americans ; for the German element

and other nationalities, were with

each other in offering their services to

uphold the government.

Adam Schell

Wiedrich’s Battery was formed in August

1860, and at this time was connected

with the 65th Regiment N.Y.S. M.

It consisted of 140 men and was

officered as follows: Captain, Michael

Wiedrich; first Lieutenants, Nicholas

Salim and Dietrich Erdman; second

Lieutenants, Christopher Schmitt and Jacob


Philip Strang

By a resolution offered on the 18th of

January, 1861, the battery offered its

services to the Governor of this state. The

offer was accepted three days later; and

although they were not then called upon,

later they were under another designation,

and noble was the duty performed.

This tender was seventy-eight days

previous to President Lincoln’s call for

75,000 volunteers.

John Zuber

Capt. Weidrich’s company Ist light

Artillery left Buffalo in October 1861

with flying colors. They were escorted

to the New York Central station by a

detachment of the Eagle Zoua___ under

Command of Adjt. Louis Kregger, and

the Tigers, Capt. J. H. Ernst. They

were a splendid looking body of men, all

hale and hearty, most of those above

medium size. Many had seen ___ve

services in Europe, and were found to be

good soldiers in America. The company

together with their band occupied tow


John Messinger Sergeant

Soon after their arrival in Albany

they acted as an escort to the Stoneman

Cavalry regiment, which was recruited

in Chautauqua County under the immediate

supervision of George Stoneman,

a naitve of that vicinity, and was

afterwards Became famous as a cavalry

officer, and after the war was governor

of California.

John N. Snyder

In November the battery left for

Washington, accompanied by artillery

in Virginia. Their “Baptism of fire’ was

at Cross Keys, on June 8th of the following

year, in which engagement they

lost three killed and six wounded.

Philip Stemler

Up to the time of the arrival at

Chattanooga . Col. Weidrich kept a full diary

which showed that the battery had been

in action at Freeman’s Ford, near

Sulphur Spring, Waterloo Bridge. Battle

of Bull run, Battle of Chancellorsville,

Battle of Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Ga.,

Battle of Peach Tree Creek and


Nicholas Mangoltt

Subsequent to the Battle of Lookout

Mountain The Battery may be summed

up As follows:

Accompanied Gen. Sherman on his famous

march to the sea, Misson Ridge, Rocky Tree

Ridge, Fanuel Hill, Buzzards’ Roost, New

Hope Church, Ackworth Station, Kenesaw

Mountain, Gologotha Culp’s Hill, Marietta

Chattahoochi River, Peach Tree Creek,

seige of Atlanta. Milledgeville, siege of

Savanah, campaign of the Carolinas.

Salkehetchit. Battle of Bentonsville,

occupation of Goldsboro. Orangeville,

Columbia, Chesterfield, Aversboro,

Bennett’s House and surrender of Johnston.

Col. Michael Wiedrich, Captain of the Battery,
Died MArch 21, 1899.

The battery never seemed to miss a battle.

at Gettysburg, three men were killed and

Lieuts. Sahm and Stock and seven men were


Philip Bachert, Sergeant

Early in the following Februrary, Capt. Weidrich

was promoted to Lieutenant - Colonel of the

15th New York Heavy Artillery. Lieut. Sahm was

promoted as Captain of the battery, but died soon

afterward. He was succeeded by Captain Charles


John Garbe, Sergeant.

In the campaign of 1862 the men were

severely tried. Second Bull Run was

their first hard fight. Lieut. Schenkelberger

and thirteen men were were wounded

out of the one hundred engaged. Five

of the six guns of the battery were disabled

and two of the carriages has to be

left on the field, but by desperate exertions

the disabled guns were rescued.

The company was so completely used up

as to necessitate their going to Washington

for recuperation and new outfit.

Andrew Seifert.

Although not taking a active part in

the Battle of Fredericksburg they were

there under General Bursnside, in position

on the lines of skirmishers, and eventually

fell back in good order upon Gordonsville.

At Chancellorsville the following year

the battery distinguished itself. When

Hooker was obliged to fall back, Capt.

Weidrich had to leave behind two of his

guns. At one of them all the men had

been shot down , and at the other four

horses were killed. Four men were killed

and fourteen wounded.

At no time did the battery come nearer

to being wiped out than they did upon

the night before the main fight at

Chancellorsville. Wiedrich’s Battery at this

time was attached to the 11th Army

Corps under Gen. Hooker.

On the night previous to the big fight

the lines were thrown out in a ragged

manner. Wiedrich’s Battery was placed

in the rear and to the right of the infantry

to guard against an attack from

that direction. It was known that Stonewall

Jackson was somewhere in the

neighborhood, but it was supposed that

he was going to Gordonsville, several

miles further on. Instead of doing so

however. Jackson swung around under

cover of darkness and approached the

rest of Hooker’s lines. Jackson’s men

stumbled upon at their guns and poured

grape and cannister into the rebel ranks

with telling effect. The enemy charged

the battery several times. Wiedrich was

greatly outnumbered and hampered by

the heavy timber which the enemy used

as a cover and he was finally obliged to

limber up his guns and beat a retreat. It

was here that the battery lost two of

their guns.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, the battery

during the three memorable days in

July; made for itself a name for stubborn

bravery that will be appreciated more

as the years roll by. It was at Cemetery

Hill that the battery was posted after

The first day’s fight and the death of Gen.

Reynolds, and it was in Steinwehr’s

Division of Howard’s corps, with Genzy’s

Division of Slocum’s Corps, upon the

right resting Culp’s and Wolf’s

Hills, that they helped successfully to

repel Early’s division of Ewell’s Corps.

In three days fighting Jacob Kimmel.

Mathias Kussenberger and Edward

Sornborg were killed , and Lieut. Sahm,

Lieut. Stock and Privates Hartman , Alberty,

Brauner, Philip Mathias, Jacob

Weller, Jacob Willig, John Kuppel and

Andrew Zimmer were wounded.

Gettysburg was one of the turning

points in the war, and to the faithful

works performed by Wiedrich’s Battery

may be attributed some of the success of

the days following.

When Rhodes entered the fight, the

federal forces were about to give way on

the right, when a portion of the 11th

Corps. To which Wiedrich’s Battery

belonged, came to its support. By this

timely support the tide of battle was

stayed until Early’s division was

engaged. The other division of the 11th

Corps under Steinwehr was at once sent

forward to occupy Cemetery Hill at the

north of the town: here the infantry and

artillery, including Wiedrich’s did

yeoman service.

In September of the same year Wiedrich’s

Battery was ordered to join Gen.

Rosecrans at Chattanooga, they having

proven to be one of the most serviceable

artillery organizations of the Army of

the Potomac.

On June 10th, 1865, the Battery returned

to Buffalo after having seen as much if

not more active service and hardship

than any other organization during the

war. When the Battery reached Buffalo

it was in command of Lieut. W. L. Scott.

Capt. Winegar being on detached service.

Miller’s Band was in waiting at the station,

but no general reception was given, as it

was impossible to do so from the brief

notice given of their coming. The

members of Taylor Hose Company

No. 1 and Citizens Hook and Ladder

Company No. 2 formed an escort and

accompanied the men to Fort Porter.

The battery numbered 110 men, and in

appearance were all that their reputation

represented ---- efficient and brave.

The members of the Battery took no

active measures to keep up an organization

previous to the report of the Gettysburg

Monument Commission of this state,

but in August 1888, a call was sent out

to all old members, asking them to take

measures for the decoration of their

Monument at Gettysburg in May 1899.

By an act of the legislature an appropriation

of $1,5000 was made for a monument for each

command, regiment, or battery, who fought in

the battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863, in honor

of the surviving members and in memory of

those who met their death on the battlefield.

This was the first meeting of the battery after

the war. It was held September 20, 1888.

The out come of the gathering was that

A committee composed of Col. Michael

Wiedrich, Jacob Schenkelberger, Philip

Bachert, John Hehr and Adam Scheil

were appointed to wait upon the Common

Council to solicit an appropriation of $300

to enable the indigent members of the Battery

to be present at an unveiling of their monument

at Gettysburg.

A resolution granting their request was

passed by the council, but was vetoed

when it reached the hands of Philip

Becker, then Mayor , on the grounds that

the appropriation was illegal.

Having failed to raise money in this

direction a subscription list was

circulated and in a few days the necessary

$300 were raised.

Thirty two bent, grizzled and wrinkled

men left Buffalo to visit the scenes of

former strife. Their mission was an

entirely different one than the spirit which

promoted them in 1861 - 65. On their

former visit they went to spread fire and blood

through that fair region.

They went to serve grape and cannister and

shell and solid shot to the brazen dogs

of war that growled and howled and

roared all through four years of fratricidal

strife. They went not because they loved

to see humanity mangled by shrieking

missiles, or to witness the burning

of homes and the desolation of the land,

but because from that southern country

had come tidings that the flag that stood

for all we hold dear in America

had fallen before the cannon of those

who had sworn to uphold and protect it.

Though many of that particular group

of young men were born under a foreign

flag, there rushed not to the front

in those dark days any more patriotic

little band of Americans than those who

formed Wiedrich’s Battery.

The sons of many of those men are

older today than their fathers were then.

The years that dragged so heavily during

that momentous struggle have sprung

forward since with hastening steps. History

has been made at lighting speed

and with strong bold strokes. But

nowhere upon its scroll is carved a more

worthy roster or a fairer record than

that of Wiedrich’s Battery.

It was with awe mingled with pleasure

that these thirty-two bent and worthy

veterans gathered where they once stood

serving their smoking guns.

The monument dedicated stands upon

East Cemetery Hill in the space between

the four lunettes of the Battery

and is one of the finest positions upon

this portion of the field. The material

is of granite wish cap stone, surmounted

by five cannon balls; at the corners are

pillars of polished stone. In the front

facing the west a large bronze tablet is

inserted, representing a gun in action,

surrounded by artillerymen and officers.

It above in the apex an oval bronze

with the coat of arms of this state, also

the corps’ badge. On the east side a tablet

records the casualties during the action.

The monument is about twelve feet

high and nobly reflects upon the generosity

of the State of New York.

Of the little band who marched away

from Buffalo in the hour of the country’s

need, but thirty - two are now known to

be alive. They are Philip Bachert, John

Stortz, Henry Feursbach, Christ Horn,

Francis Herman, JohnMessinger,

Frederick Smith, Andrew Siebold,

Christopher Schmitt, Adam Schell,

Philip Strang, Philip Stemler,

William Braun, Jacob Schmitt

Diedrich Erdman, Henry Klee,

Nicholas Mangoltt, Anton Zimmer,

George Baer, John Zuber, Nicholas

Stahl, George Knorr, John Horn, John

Schneider, Martin Schmitt, John Garbe,

Matt Keller, Louis Strang, George P.

Schwartz, George Schreier, George

Burckhard, Jacob Siebold and

Adam Seifert.

John C. Mesmer

-Original article from the microfilm records at,
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY  14203


William Brown (Wilhelm Braun), is my
Great, Great, Great Grandfather!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beaver goes to College!

The Amherst U.B. bike path is one of the best in Western New York.  The seven mile path is open for walking, running, and bicycling.  It is also open to fishing as well.  The path which runs between North Forest Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst, N.Y.; also passes around the State University of New York at Buffalo (U.B.). It is unique in that it parallels Ellicott Creek; and has both open fields and wooded areas.  This combination of the three, has created  abundant animal fauna.  The usual rabbits, squirrels and groundhogs are all present.  There are also large flocks of Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, and Turkey!  Along the with Great Blue Herons; and Great White Herons in the summer. Above, Red Tailed Hawks scan the fields and creek for small animals.  The woods and fields hide Red Foxes and White Tailed Deer, and others.  There are a multitude of bird species, which vary somewhat by season.  And now there are Beavers!

Snacking Beaver.

During the summer months I had a sunset ride, where I encountered the Beaver.  Pedaling along in the evening, I heard a strange crunching sound. Stopping and looking into the creek, there was a animal at the creeks edge, looking back at me.   I thought it might be a muskrat. Since it was dark, it was difficult to see what kind of tail he had.  The beaver obliged me, by swimming around in a short circle.  Coming back to his plant and munching again.  It was like he was showing off to me saying; see I'm a beaver!  So I was determined to get a picture of this fellow.

Beaver from a bike path bridge.

I spent half a dozen evenings with my camera; trying to get a good picture of the beaver, in the fading light.  Some times he showed up to the same area of the creek;  otherwise he was a no show.  Finally I did get some pictures of fella, though there still not quality images.  He had a habit of swiming upstream past a bridge,  where the plants he likes grow.  I waited near the bridge listening for his splashing. Then running out on the bridge, I snapped a picture before he dove beneath the bridge.  It very difficult to get a picture of them, since they are mostly nocturnal.  I avoided using the flash, as not to scare him away.  The beaver as settled down to making his residence; only a short walk from one of the biggest Universities in New York State.  

Beaver Burrow.

The beaver made his home in a more secluded area of the creek, away from the bike path.  He started out with a burrow with branches around it, as a temporary home. While he has been busy making a proper beaver lodge.  I found this out by stumbling on it while looking for his lodge one day.  He let out a large Aoouhh, from his burrow.  I made a hasty retreat up the bank it was in!  He has built a clever lodge for himself; it looks like a "lean to" from behind.  Lately he has been scarce; engaged in preparing for the winter.  You can see him darting around under water, in his wide creek expanse.  He is probably gathering mud to seal his lodge; and store branches under water for the long winter.  There is no sign of a dam yet. Though there's always next spring.  Beavers don't always make dams, if the water is deep enough for them.  So I will have to wait and see if he's a good neighbor to U.B., or planning to make a new lake for the university!    

The Beavers Lodge.

I am still trying to get some good clear photos of him; usually he spots me from underwater. He gives me a tail slap, and disappears!

Evening Swim!

A Great Blue Heron.

A turkey in the morning sun.

 A Red Tailed Hawk perched over the bike path.

Mallard Duck in Ellicott Creek.

Turkey and Deer enjoying the sunrise.

The U.B. / Amherst Bike Path.

Bye, Bye Beaver!

Sea Serpents Day at the Beach: Part II

The Buffalo Courier

Saturday, May 9, 1896

Page 6, Column 1




Talk with Capt. Beecher

About the Monster.




It Was Close in Shore for Three-Quarters

Of an Hour - Its Color, Its

Eyes and Its Full Form Visible

- The Captain’s Story.


Capt. Lina K. Beecher’s Crystal Beach

sea serpent will not down. In this particular

it is like the famous ghost of

Banquo, though it is, or was last Tuesday,

a more substantial being than Banquo’s

ghost ever was. It is referred to as

Capt. Beecher’s serpent because he “seen”

it first. If there are other claimants,

leaving out of the account, of course, the

people who were with Capt. Beecher at

the time, perhaps the question of ownership

can be arbitrated.

The Courier has obtained further information

about the great creature. Until

yesterday the reporter had not seen Capt.

Beecher, but learned of the strange object

seen at the beach through John A.

Miller of Kenmore, who had talked with

Capt. Beecher. It was only by an accidental

call at Mr. Miller’s office on the

10th floor of Ellicott Square that the reporter

learned that the serpent had been

seen. Yesterday another call was made

at Mr. Miller’s office without prearrangement,

when Capt. Beecher was found .

None of those whose names have been

mentioned have made any effort to have

the story published.

The Courier said Thursday morning

that three persons had seen the monster -

Capt. Beecher, his wife, and Mrs. Gilchrist,

all of Crystal Beach. To these

must be added Mr. Beecher’s little girl,

who is between seven and eight years old.

All were near enough to the monster to

see it distinctly, and its appearance

alarmed Mrs. Gilchrist and the child

greatly. Capt. Beecher, however, is a

Veteran of the War and a G.A.R. man

and has seen many strange sights in his

time. He and his wife lived at one time

in Tennessee, where rattlesnakes and

other similar “varmints” abounded, and

they were not particularly frightened.

The presence of Capt. Beecher and the

two women on the rocky point that projects

into the water is fully explained by

Capt. Beecher. This was not made clear

in the Courier’s first account, and may

have seemed a trifle mysterious to the

dubious mind. The four persons named

were sitting on the steps that lead to

John A. Miller’s cottage, “The Kenmore,”

when they first observed a commotion in

the water, some distance from the land .

Their idea was that the phenomena was

caused by a school of fish, as the disturbance

in the water seemed to be almost

continuous, and there was too much of it

to be produced by one fish. The agitation

came nearer. Finally one of the women

exclaimed, “ Why it’s all one fish.” And

so it seemed to all. There was one object,

apparently, moving along the surface

of the water toward the beach and

having as much fun as a schoolboy. It

was then that all four went down toward

the lake and as far out in the direction

of the creature as they could get.

Capt. Beecher was questioned closely

by the reporter yesterday, with no other

purpose than to get at the exact truth, as

nearly s possible , about what he had

seen. He is a small man, of simple and

modest demeanor, and nearly 54 years old.

He served in the War of the Rebellion as

Captain of the Third New York Cavalry,

and was a comrade of Gen. W. S. Bull,

Superintendent of Police, when the latter

was acting chief of artillery, and of Gen.

Rogers, formerly Park Commissioner here

and now Governor of the Soldiers Home

at Bath.

Capt. Beecher told his story in a

straightforward and earnest manner, and

The Courier representative was impressed

with his apparent sincerity. It was not

a mere fleeting glance of the serpent that

was had by the four persons in the party,

but they watched it for fully three quarters

of an hour, or until it was so dark

that they could no longer distinguish its

form. By this time it had retreated and

was still retreating from the proximity of

the shore. The surface of the lake was

perfectly smooth, and the serpent was so

near to the party that they could distinctly

see its eyes, which Capt. Beecher

says looked as large as silver dollars. At

times it would lie straight on the surface

of the water with its whole length visible.

Then it would lift its head and curl its

body so that it would be visible only at

intervals, where the humps projected

above the surface. At times it would turn

partly on its side, when it was plainly

seen that the color of the lower part of

its body was much lighter than the back,

which was dark brown, or almost black.

“Its head looked like a dogs head, having

A similar prominence above and back

of the eyes. Its tail, however, was pointed,

and like that of any monstrous land

serpent. When Capt. Beecher threw a

stone in its direction it would lunge fully

30 feet toward the stone, as it struck the

water. In this way it turned in various

directions in it efforts to catch the stones,

evidently thinking they were something

suitable for food. It spouted water fully

four feet in the air, and kept “sloshin’

around” in the water, as if it were

nervous or else enjoying itself hugely.

Capt. Beecher says he will swear it was 35

feet long. It did not disappear from the

surface, but they were reassured by Capt.

and Mrs. Beecher, who felt that there

was no real danger, though they too,

might have retreated , if the serpent had

come much nearer. Capt. Beecher looked

for the serpent next morning and the following

evening, but he has no seen it since.

This serpent has not been conjured up

to advertise Crystal Beach. The excursion

season is several weeks away, and

as a matter of fact Mr. Miller was somewhat

solicitous lest publishing of the

story should tend to keep people away

from the resort, especially those who love

to bathe in the lake.

It would be a good bet that these four

people actually saw at the time and place

aforesaid a great fresh water serpent, and

that there is something else than nonsense

in stories of this sort.

-Original article from the microfilm records at,
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY  14203

Finding Noah's Ark!

The Buffalo Express Monday Morning, July 11, 1892 page 3 HE SAW NOAH'S ARK. ______ A Greek Priest Says it is S...