Thursday, May 07, 2009

Henry Kampe

Henry or Heinrich Kampe was born in 1827 in Nassau, Germany.

Henry left Germany sometime before the war broke out, and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’11” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 33-year-old laborer living in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (He chose to enlist not in the Muskegon-dominated Company H, but in the predominantly German Company C, which 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.) He was accidentally shot through the foot by a musketball at Germantown, Virginia, on July 27, 1861, and discharged because of vulnus sclopeticum (wounds), on May 16, 1862, probably at Buttonwood hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1862 Henry applied for and received a pension (no. 12579).

It is possible that after his discharge from the army he returned to Grand Rapids where he was reported to have subsequently died from his wounds sometime in 1864. If he did indeed die in Grand Rapids in 1864, he was possibly interred in what was often referred to as the “Soldiers’ Burial Ground,” now called the Watson Post Grand Army of the Republic lots in Oak Hill cemetery, where more than 40 unknown Civil War soldiers are buried. (Or he may be one of the two unknown Civil War soldiers buried on the west side of the Grand River, traditionally the German immigrant neighborhood, in Greenwood cemetery.)

It is also possible, however, that he was the same man listed as “Henry Kampfer” who reentered the Third Michigan infantry in 1864 (see next bio).

No comments: