Herman or Harman M. Hardenburg was born in 1829 in New York.
Herman, also known as “Henry,” married Pennsylvania native Helen M. (b. 1836), and they had at least two children: Alice (b. 1855) and Sarah Eveline (b. 1858),
By 1855 they had settled in western Michigan and by 1860 Herman was working as a brick maker and living with his wife and two daughters in Dewitt, Clinton County.
Herman, or Henry as he was also called, was 32 years old and probably still living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)
On November 3, 1861, he was hospitalized at Annapolis, Maryland, but he eventually recovered his health and rejoined the Regiment. He was missing in action “in front of Richmond” (probably at White Oak Swamp) on either June 30 or July 1, 1862, and was subsequently (but only briefly) listed as having deserted, then as dropped from the company rolls and finally reported as a prisoner-of-war.
Although there is no further official confirmation, the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune listed Hardenburg among the sick and wounded Michigan soldiers in Richmond in mid-July, and by the first of August reported Henry to be among the sick and wounded Michigan soldiers who had recently arrived in New York, in the charge of one Dr. A. M. McDonald, “taken on board the Elm City, at City Point, Va., Tuesday, July 29, 1862.”
Herman was reported as having died on March 15, 1863 and in September of 1864 Helen M. Hardenburg, Herman’s widow applied for a pension (no. 64057), but the certificate was apparently never granted.
In fact, Herman survived the war, returned to his home in Michigan and Helen abandoned her pension application. In September of 1870 Herman was working as a carpenter and living with his wife Helen and two daughters in Chester, Eaton County. (Curiously, in June Alice was living with the Lot family in Dewitt, Clinton County.) They eventually settled in Tuscola County. He was a widower living with and/or working as a servant for the William Allen family in Arbela, Tuscola County, in 1880.
Herman probably died in Tuscola County and was buried in Newton-Compau Cemetery (also known as Old Arbela Cemetery), Tuscola County: lot 62.