Joseph Shickle was born in 1840 in Ohio, the son of John Adam (1795-1880) and Mary Eva (1801-1879).
His parents emigrated from Bavaria, Germany, settling in Ohio by 1835 when their daughter Abalina (?) was born, and by 1850 Joseph was attending school with his two older sisters and living with his parents, John A. and Mary in Hopewell Township, Seneca County, Ohio, where his father worked as a musician. John moved his family west and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 Joseph was living with his parents John and “Eva” in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward.
He stood 5’5” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Musician in the Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged as member of the Band (possibly as Musician First Class) on August 13, 1862, at Harrison's Landing, Virginia.
After he was discharged from the army Joseph returned to Grand Rapids where he reentered the service in Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 30, 1863 for 3 years, crediting Boston, Ionia County, and was mustered on January 5, 1864, at Grand Rapids.
Joseph probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennesse where it was on engineering duty as well as at Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etcuntil May of 1864.
The regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., until it was ordered to Atlanta, Ga. on September 25. Old members were mustered out October 31, 1864The regiment remained on duty at Atlanta September 28 to November 15; and participated in the March to the sea destroying railroad track, bridges and repairing and making roads November 15-December 10; in the siege of Savannah December 10-21, in the Carolina Campaign January to April, 1865; in the advance on Raleigh April 10-14, and occupation of Raleigh April 14; in the surrender of Johnston and his army.
The regiment then marched to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20, and participated in the Grand Review on May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June 6; then to Nashville, Tenn. Duty at Nashville July 1 to September 22.
Joseph was made Artificer on October 31, 1864, Sergeant on April 5, 1865, and was on furlough from July 23, 1865. He was reportedly mustered out with the regiment on September 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee, and the regiment was discharged at Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan on October 1.
No pension seems to be available for service in either Michigan units.
In 1870 his parents (John and Mary) were living with Bavarian-born Peter "Shickell," a 36-year-old grocer and his family in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. (All three are buried in St. Andrews cemetery, Grand Rapids.) In 1890 Peter was living in Grand Rapids, Kent County. Peter died in 1910. He apparently served as a Musician in the Tenth Ohio infantry, and in 1903 he applied for and received a pension (nos. 1301750 and 1069073); in 1910 his widow Annie E. applied for and received a pension (nos. 944448 and 707814).