The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 21, 1861
    Carl Schurz and the Sardinia Embassy (Editorial)

    The appointment of an ambassador to Turin was of special interest, not because of the character of those who sought this post, but because of the eventual recognition or nonrecognition of the German Republicans of the United States. We admit that we were not favorably impressed when we learned that Mr. [Carl] Schurz had not been selected for the mission. After Governor Koerner had been defrauded of the ambassadorship at Berlin through a political coup of Mr. Judd of Chicago, Mr. Schurz was the only representative German aspirant to a foreign embassy, and he was especially entitled to the promotion, since he not only had the support of his state, as is often the case with American politicians, but also the indorsement of the Germans of every state in the Union. This support undoubtedly was evidence that the Germans of the Union wanted to be acknowledged coequal with native Americans in at least one respect--whenever appointments to 2foreign positions were in question. Their concern with Mr. Schurz was based solely on the German's desire to nominate their worthiest and ablest representative.

    They were not successful in their attempts to wrest such recognition from the national pride of native Americans; and an appointment to Rio de Janeiro can never be looked upon as adequate compensation.

    Secretary of State Seward even went so far as to establish a principle according to which all foreign-born persons will be excluded from the foreign service--if such a thing is possible. We deplore the narrow-mindedness from which this principle emanated.

    In the first place, we must not overlook the fact that foreign-born citizens who know a foreign language are best qualified to represent the United States abroad. The New York Tribune was right when it stated, in defense of Mr. Schurz's claim, that his Prussian extraction was an argument for, and not 3against, his appointment to the Court of Turin. Italy, which was liberated through the revolution brought about by the revolutionist Garibaldi, would have no scruples about recognizing the former German revolutionist, especially since he would not be serving in that capacity, but rather as an American citizen. However, we shall not enumerate the excuses which Washington offered for denying the request of Mr. Schurz, the German-American citizen par excellence. It would be useless to discuss them anyway: but the lesson which this German reversal teaches is very instructive.

    We learn from it that even the greatest services rendered by an eminent German to a political party and, in this case, to the Union itself, are not sufficient to offset the influence of American narrow-mindedness and greed for office. The battle of the Germans for recognition of their co-equality with native Americans in the Union is by no means ended, and they have no other recourse but to apply means which are more effective than either the influence of individuals, be they ever so prominent, or the 4resolutions of the Central Committee of the Republican party.

    The coequality of the Germans must be explained to the masses in city, county, and state until even the most stubborn are convinced and the feeble-minded can understand--before any attempt is made to enlighten the upper classes. Thus, it is necessary that German sheriffs be elected, and that, if possible, a German representative and German senator be seated in every state legislature in the United States, and the next step of the Germans, especially those in the northwest, should be to bring about the election of German congressmen.

    It is said that New England congressmen prevented the appointment of Mr. Schurz; and it will be the duty of the Germans to erase this score by electing German congressional representatives. In days gone by the Germans were not competent to fill public offices, but this inefficiency is being remedied in some quarters, at least to some extent, and in a short time there will be no dearth of qualified German candidates. The old adage, 5"Who does not progress must retrogress" is true close of German-Americans.

    The knowledge that their native culture was a predominant element in the progressive development of the American nation must be an incentive to the Germans of the Union to continue their collaborative efforts in shaping the social, political, and economic affairs of this nation; and, to that end they must aspire to the higher, even the highest, public offices. This must be the aim of all German-Americans for the sake of those native Americans who instinctively fear and try to avert any interference in their turbulent national matters by inexperienced elements.

    The appointment of an ambassador to Turin was of special interest, not because of the character of those who sought this post, but because of the eventual recognition or nonrecognition ...

    I F 4, I F 1, I F 5, I J, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 01, 1861
    Schambeck's Company (Editorial)

    The Cincinnati Yolksfreund reports: "About six o'clock last evening Schambeck's Company arrived here from Chicago, via the Cincinnati and Chicago Air-Line Railroad, leaving the train at the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad depot, Since the saddles and baggage of this stately cavalry contingent had been immediately transferred and sent on, the travellers were forced to lead their horses through the streets. Captain Schambeck had telegraphed to the local United States Quartermaster, requesting that official to make the necessary arrangements to care for the soldiers and their mounts. The Quartermaster ordered that the horses be taken to Benjamin Jennifer's Livery Stables, at the corner of 12th and Walnut Streets.

    There the horses were fed and bedded, but neither meals nor sleeping quarters were supplied for the men. Some goodhearted and patriotic citizens saw the 2men standing on street corners, heard their bitter complaints about the ill treatment of the Government, and took some of them to the Turnhalle, and others to nearby halls, where the tired troopers received meals and then were lodged in boarding houses. So local citizens had to care for United States soldiers, while it is the duty of the United States' Quartermaster to provide for them. This is just another example of the deplorable and harmful negligence and disorder which prevails in all branches of our war administration.

    Schambeck's Company consists of 102 members, all Chicago Germans who have seen service in the Old Country. They are strong, lanky men, and have all the necessary requisites to effective service in the cavalry of our army.

    The Cincinnati Yolksfreund reports: "About six o'clock last evening Schambeck's Company arrived here from Chicago, via the Cincinnati and Chicago Air-Line Railroad, leaving the train at the Cincinnati, Hamilton and ...

    III D, I G, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 09, 1861
    Home Guard (Editorial)

    The President's message gives assurance that the War against the Southern Rebels will be carried on vigorously. A call for four hundred thousand men has been issued, and they will be enrolled by fall.

    However, war takes its toll of human lives, and soon the ranks of our brave Union soldiers will be thinned. Therefore, the training of a general reserve, or home guard is of the utmost importance. It is well known that the reserves of Missouri have already rendered excellent services.

    Everyone whose financial condition does not permit him to go to battle should endeavor to acquire at least some military training at home. And the home guard should be composed not only of married men and elderly men, but also of young unmarried men who have remained at home.


    We know that every army needs reserves from time to time, and we are aware of how very important it is that the replacement troops have a knowledge of at least the rudiments of military tactics. This is a fact which needs no further proof or explanation. We shall very likely receive pertinent military orders soon, since Senator Wilson's proposal for the establishment of a general national guard is now before the senior legislative body.

    Here in Chicago it appeared that the citizens, particularly those of German extraction, were to begin training a reserve or home guard when hostilities began; several companies were organized, and we hoped that a number sufficient to establish a regiment would soon enroll. But the ardor quickly waned, and now only a small remnant of a formerly large body remains. Still it is gratifying that even a small group desires to continue its activity, and to obtain further military knowledge. Although a full company exists no more, on the West Side a comparatively large part of Company Three still drills very diligently and conscientiously; and though Company One, on the North Side, was reduced from one hundred ten to about half that number, the Company will 3undoubtedly compensate, with increased efficiency for what it lost in numerical strength.

    Thus we see that many men take training seriously--in addition to exercising two evenings a week, they answer the call of the drum every Sunday, and it is only fair to say that they make good use of the little time that is at their disposal.

    Captain Eshenburg, an officer who received a thorough education at a Prussian military school, deserves credit for the splendid progress made by Company One. He has succeeded in instilling a liking for military matters in his men, as each and every one of them will testify. They presented him with a sword, July 4, in recognition of his honest and conscientious efforts. Mr. E. Pruessing, Second Officer of the Company, made the presentation and addressed a few well chosen words to the leader. The spirit of this Company and the fine relation existing between the men and their officers is highly pleasing, indeed.

    Finally, we most urgently request that all German men of Chicago who do not 4intend to or cannot enlist in the fighting forces immediately, join the reserves, at least, and devote a few hours of every week to military training. Men who live on the North Side may report at the headquarters of Company One in the German House, and residents of the West Side at West Market Hall.

    The President's message gives assurance that the War against the Southern Rebels will be carried on vigorously. A call for four hundred thousand men has been issued, and they will ...

    I G, III D, I J, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 09, 1861
    The Chicago Press on the Appointment of Mr. George Schneider as United States Consul at Helsingoer (Editorial)

    The following article is quoted from the Chicago Tribune, September 5:

    "George Schneider, Esquire, editor-in-chief and owner of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, has been appointed United States Consul at Helsingoer (Elsinore), Denmark, and we hear that he will leave for that post very soon. It may be said that for the past twelve years his indefatigable endeavors in the publishing and political fields, during which time he made the Illinois Staats-Zeitung one of the leading journals of the United States and gained for himself an envious reputation in social and political circles, has earned for him the right to the short but pleasant rest which is in prospect for him on his trip to Europe. He takes with him the best wishes of all of his brother editors, who earnestly hope that he will soon return safely to his adopted country and city."


    The Chicago Evening Star has this to say:

    "Captain George Schneider, editor and owner of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, has been appointed United States Consul at Helsingoer, Denmark. Helsingoer was made famous by Shakespeare, who selected the city for the scene of his tragedy "Hamlet" The importance of this place as a commercial or political center is not known to us, but we believe that the post is one of great consequence. We hope so, for nobody in Chicago deserves a good position more than Mr. Schneider. We have known him for few years, and during the greater part of this time we have seen him fight for freedom and against slavery, laboring to spread those principles which found their personification in the Republican party. He has made his newspaper an excellent one, and except on a very few occasions, has used its influence to promote just causes. He is a radical anti-slaver, and in his appointment, as well as in that of Mr. Z. Eastman, Esquire, who is an abolitionist of the old school, we see the proof that the Administration does not intend to deny its obligations to the radical, anti-slavery element."

    The Chicago Post remarks:


    "To our great satisfaction we learn that our fellow citizen Mr. George Schneider, publisher of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, has been appointed to the United States Consulate at Helsingoer, Denmark. The post is a good one. Helsingoer lies on one of the most important trade routes leading to the Baltic Sea. Mr Schneider will do his official duties well; he is a very able man, and, as far as personal relations are concerned, he will soon win the respect and confidence of the people with whom he will be associated for some time.

    "We gladly testify to the high character of Mr. Schneider. He is an able editor and has always conducted himself like a gentleman. Even in the heat of battle and in the excitement created by the rapidly transpiring events and by the violence of party strife, he has always acted with the dignity and decorum of an honorable opponent. For ten years he did editorial work, for ten years he was an industrious partner. During the time he served this city and state he was ten times as successful as some men who had held office, and he reaped a rich harvest from the gratitude of the people. By appointing Mr. Schneider to this post Mr. Lincoln is merely performing a duty towards a political friend.


    The President has selected a competent and honorable gentleman to undertake very responsible and confidential work. We will miss the friendly countenance of our friend as we wend our way through the streets of the city, and his name will no more appear on the list of journalists. But when he tires of his official position, and longs for the excitement which is always present in the life of a journalist, we hope to be able to welcome his return to his city and his profession."

    The Chicago Telegraph, a German evening newspaper which was lately established by Georg Feuchtinger, long a foreman in the printing shop of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, says:

    "President Lincoln has appointed Mr. George Schneider, one of the publishers of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, to the United States Consulate at Helsingoer, Denmark. Mr. Schneider was called to Washington by telegram, for the purpose of receiving special messages.

    "We are happy to know that the editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung has 5received honorable recognition from our Government. His publication was founded thirteen years ago, and since then it has developed from an insignificant beginning to a position of competitive equality with the largest establishments of its kind in the country. Everybody knows that the lives of editors and newspaper publishers are not beds of roses, and therefore we can sincerely congratulate our colleague upon his good fortune."

    The Chicago Evening Journal publishes the news of Mr. Schneider's appointment, but makes no comment, and the Chicago Times does not mention the appointment, very likely because the editors of that paper are still quite unfamiliar with the local publishing business and do not know Mr. Schneider personally.

    The members of the Anglo-American press, whose comments we have reported above, and one of whom (the editor of the Chicago Post), has had a long political feud with the publisher of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, have shown that they are gentlemen in the true sense of the word. We can only regret that among the representatives of the German press there is one mean fop so completely in the 6power of his jealousy and diabolical malice that he is not ashamed to slander a man under whose supervision he worked for many years, and who is just about to leave for Europe on a confidential mission for his adopted country.

    We refer our readers to an article published by Mr. Schlaeger in last Friday's issue of the so-called Chicago Union.

    The following article is quoted from the Chicago Tribune, September 5: "George Schneider, Esquire, editor-in-chief and owner of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, has been appointed United States Consul at Helsingoer (Elsinore), ...

    IV, II B 2 d 1, I F 5
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 07, 1861

    Mr. R. B. Hoeffgen, founder and part owner of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, will retire from this newspaper today. He is in need of rest and relaxation, for he has worked diligently for many years.

    Mr. Hoeffgen, a pioneer among Chicago's Germans, may also be called a pioneer of German culture in this great western metropolis; for it was he who presented the city with its first German newspaper. Anyone who has any idea of the difficulties connected with the establishment and management of a German newspaper which has gained ground but very slowly can readily estimate the full amount of labor and energy which must be expended and the many obstacles which must be overcome in order to conduct successfully a German publication in the far West, in a place far out on the prairie, in a city so small and insignificant fourteen years ago that it certainly did not deserve the title "city". However, our departing friend was equal 2to the great task, and his perserverance was crowned with success. The modest little paper, which he called into being in a wilderness amid the most trying and discouraging conditions, grew with the city and the German population. It developed into one of the largest German dailies in America, and has attained that influence which every organ of public opinion may acquire if it faithfully endeavors to present the opinion of the majority, and advocates and supports justice and impartiality in all political and social matters.

    We hardly need mention that the number of Mr. Hoeffgen's personal friends, among whom we are happy to be included, is much larger than that of many of the old settlers of the Garden City. His honesty, his sense of justice and goodness, his indefatigable efforts to promote humaneness and freedom, have won for him the respect and good will of all citizens who appreciate these qualities of character. All his friends will regret that he is retiring from public life; but they will also rejoice because his was a successful life and he can now reap the fruits of his labors.


    So we bid farewell to our old and esteemed friend; we wish and hope that he will have the satisfaction of seeing his handiwork continue to grow and serve its purpose: to promote culture, justice, and liberty.

    Mr. R. B. Hoeffgen, founder and part owner of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, will retire from this newspaper today. He is in need of rest and relaxation, for he has worked ...

    IV, II B 2 d 1
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 11, 1861
    Mass Meeting at North Market Hall

    Last evening, one of Chicago's largest and most enthusiastic gatherings of German-American citizens assembled in North Market Hall, and the spacious room was crowded to overflowing. A. C. Hesing called the meeting to order; John H. Muehlke was elected chairman, and Eduard Seckel was elected secretary. Caspar Butz was the first speaker, and after making a stirring address, he moved that a committee of five be appointed by the chair to draft resolutions. The chairman appointed C. Butz, H. Eschenburg, H. H. Bruns, Joseph Brosch, and L. Lamperts as members of the committee. This committee retired and later, through the chairman, C. Butz, it reported the following resolutions which were adopted amid thunderous applause.

    "In view of the great crisis in our national affairs, when the fate of the Republic trembles in the balance, a mass meeting composed chiefly of German-American citizens was held at North Market Hall in Chicago, and adopted the following resolutions:


    1) "That, while disclaiming every intention to resuscitate old and obsolete issues, and pledging to the Government of our choice our undivided support in the prosecution of the war against the black monster of secession, nevertheless, we, as free citizens of this Republic, claim our rights to voice our sentiments and opinions in regard to the carrying on of the war and the measures of this administration.

    2) "That, as every day it becomes more evident that this war is a struggle for life and death between two principles hostile to each other since the day of creation, we warn and remind the Government that the triumph of liberty can be final and lasting only if slavery is abolished.

    3) "That, in the Administration's measures for the suppression of the insurrection we have thus far seen nothing but indecision and vacillation, a desire to shirk the true issues of the contest and to decline a responsibility which the rulers of our great nation are expected to assume.


    4) "That, in the recent proclamation of General Fremont, which unfortunately, was mutilated by order of the President, we saw a harbinger of better days, and the surest means of bringing this war to a speedy close.

    5) "That, when, as if it were planned to add insult to injury, the idol of the Western Army, the man who created order in chaos, General John C. Fremont, was removed from his command just as he was about to reap the fruit of his efforts, we were loathe to believe the incredible news, and had to bow our heads in silence before a procedure so unparalleled in history and so detrimental to the best interests of our country.

    6) "That, after having carefully sifted the accusations made against General Fremont, we have found nothing but an ex parte statement of his enemies, not supported by the truth, devoid in many instances of even the semblance of truth, containing many long refuted charges, and bearing in every word the stamp of the accusers malignity.


    7) "That, in our opinion, even if the charges against General Fremont had been proved by unquestionable evidence, the Government might have found means of correcting them other than by the removal of the leader who never was heard in self-defense, and whose only crime, in the opinion of the people, is that he obstructs the ambitions of other men.

    8) "That, since it has removed General Fremont, we have lost all confidence in the Administration, and that the people will hold our authorities responsible for the evil consequences resulting from their acts, and particularly from this most injudicious and unjust measure.

    9) "That, while thus expressing our grievances, we solemnly declare our unalterable devotion to our adopted country and to the glorious flag of freedom under the folds of which we found a new home. The citizens by adoption have already shown their zeal for the cause of liberty; but for liberty only, not for the schemes and compromises of designing politicians are they ready to fight to the bitter end, and for this, in the language of our forefathers, 5they 'pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor'.

    10) "That, we assure General Fremont of our unchanging love and admiration, and of our most sincere thanks for an approbation of the immortal services he rendered to the cause of science and the cause of his country, for the great energy and the self-sacrificing patriotism, with which he created the Army of the West, for the great human principles of his proclamation of emancipation, for the vigor and rapidity with which he, in spite of all the obstacles thrown in his way by the authorities at Washington, marched from St. Louis to Springfield, and cleared the state from the hordes of Rebels, and for the self-denying and truly republican civic spirit in which he received the blow aimed at him by the President."

    Mr. Lamperts offered a resolution censuring the Chicago Tribune for its stand on the Fremont controversy, but on motion of Mr. N. Eisendrath the motion was tabled; the reason offered for the rejecture being that it would be beneath the dignity of those assembled to pay any attention to such a small matter as the 6above-named paper, after having declared their views on such important and momentous matters.

    It was moved to send a copy of the resolutions to President Lincoln through our representative in Congress, Honorable I. N. Arnold, but since a number of speakers remarked that Mr. Arnold was not a warm friend of General Hunter, it was considered unwise to request the services of Mr. Arnold in this matter.

    While the committee on resolutions was out, Sheriff Hesing, William Rapp, and T. Hielscher made truly eloquent speeches, and the meeting adjourned amid loud cheers for John C. Fremont, the next president of the United States.

    Last evening, one of Chicago's largest and most enthusiastic gatherings of German-American citizens assembled in North Market Hall, and the spacious room was crowded to overflowing. A. C. Hesing called ...

    I J, III B 4, I G, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 10, 1862
    The Rights of Immigrants at the Constiutional Convention (Editorial)

    During the last campaign we insisted that the Germans be represented in the Constitutional Convention of the State of Illinois; we emphasized that our need for recognition was the only reason for our recommendation for a suitable candidate to be present at the meeting at Kingsbury Hall, and we stated that we were not in the least interested in conferring a well-paying county office to a mere political job chaser. It was our intention to protect our rights to vote, for a change in the Constitution might involve a restriction or an expansion of this right. And we note from the official report on the proceedings of the Convention (January 29) that our German delegate, Mr. John Henry Muehlke, made the following proposal, which was adopted:

    Resolved, That the Committee on Elections and Franchise consider the feasibility of granting the right to vote to all foreign-born residents of this state who volunteered to serve in the army or navy during the present Rebellion and who 2have been honorably discharged, or who will serve in the armed forces of the Union during this War and receive an honorable dismissal, if such persons are not disqualified for any reason save that they are not citizens of the United States.

    From the very beginning of the campaign we did not hesitate to give Mr. Muehlke our full support; and as far as we have been able to follow his activity to date, we do not doubt that not only the Germans of Chicago, but also of the whole state will look upon their choice with great satisfaction.

    During the last campaign we insisted that the Germans be represented in the Constitutional Convention of the State of Illinois; we emphasized that our need for recognition was the only ...

    I J, III B 4, III B 1, I F 3, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 19, 1862
    Lincoln, Schurz, and the Freedom of the Press

    From a report published in the Anzeiged Des Westens we note that Carl Schurz voluntarily went to the President with a copy of that issue of a previously mentioned newspaper which contained General Halleck's letter to the publication, and earnestly protested against this violation of the freedom of the press. Upon Mr. Schurz's protest, a telegram was sent to General Halleck (according to some, by the President himself, according to others, by Secretary of War Stanton) advising him to refrain from making such attacks on the press in the future. Bravo!

    From a report published in the Anzeiged Des Westens we note that Carl Schurz voluntarily went to the President with a copy of that issue of a previously mentioned newspaper ...

    I J, I E, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 23, 1862
    The Thirteenth Cavalry Regiment

    The Thirteenth Cavalry Regiment broke camp yesterday morning at 11 A.M. and left for St. Louis. The officers of the Regiment are Colonel J. W. Bell, Lieutenant Colonel Theobald Hartmann, and Major Lothar Lippert. [Names of other officers were omitted in translation.]

    Colonel Bell was born in Tennessee about forty-seven years ago. He was formerly a lawyer, and later became a clerk in the war Department. He was authorized to form a regiment under the condition that he unite with Lieutenant Colonel Hartmann.

    The latter is well known and greatly respected by the German citizens of Chicago. Mr. Theobald Hartmann was a member of the Bavarian Light Cavalry which fought at Zweibruecken during the Palatine Movement to establish a German constitutional government which should not be headed by a monarch, and he and his company which elected him to be its leader went over to the army of the people. During the 2siege of Rastadt he was among the besieged, and after the capitulation of this fort he spent a number of years as a prisoner in the casemate of Rastadt.

    Major Lothar Lippert was a Bavarian officer and is a well educated soldier. As soon as the Rebellion broke out he rushed to arms and organized a company. But his efforts to be assigned to a regiment, [were fruitless] and, after spending three months in idleness at Camp Yates, near Springfield, where the soldiers passed the time making swords of wood in order to have at least something in their hand when they served as sentries, he became disgusted with the doings of Yates and Hoffmann (Translator's note: Yates was Governor of Illinois, and Hoffmann was Lieutenant Governor) and returned home. He was willing to join the Regiment of Hecker, but the same intriguers who were responsible for the removal of Knobelsdorf and Hecker would not permit men like Lippert and Thielemann to hold positions as army officers. Later, when Knobelsdorf organized the Northwestern Rifle Company, he immediately secured the services of Lippert, and we know from Mr. Knobelsdorf that he did not willingly consent to the procedure whereby Lippert was removed from the Rifle 3Company. Dr. Wagner, Regimental Physician, was with Hecker's Regiment until a short time ago; he refused to remain after Hecker and his Regiment were so shamefully treated as a result of the machinations of infamous conspirators. The Hecker Boys will miss him very much, and Hartmann's Boys are to be congratulated upon securing his services. In the list of officers are many German names, among them that of Ernst Riedel, the jovial Cottage Grove Avenue saloonkeeper, who formerly was an officer in the Washington Cavalry. First Lieutenant R. G. Dyhrenfurth, son of the President of the Commercial School is also an officer in the Regiment. The former was a member of Schambeck's Cavalry and has endured all the hardships of the Virginia Campaign. Adjutant Werther hails from Posen and was an officer in the Prussian army.

    We have no doubt that all of the German officers of this Regiment will prove to be able and faithful soldiers and will contribute their part towards making the German name famous. We hope to hear of their deeds very soon.

    The Thirteenth Cavalry Regiment broke camp yesterday morning at 11 A.M. and left for St. Louis. The officers of the Regiment are Colonel J. W. Bell, Lieutenant Colonel Theobald Hartmann, ...

    I J, III D, I G, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 26, 1862
    A Letter from Fritz Anneke

    Camp Murphy, Indiana,

    February 20, 1862.

    To the Editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung: A news item which appeared in yesterday's issue of your newspaper forces me to write about myself in the press, although I do not like to do so. The item referred to reads: "Colonel Fritz Anneke and the artillery corps which he trained well at Indianapolis will now leave for the battlefield." If this were correct, I would have no reason to bring my name before the public. Unfortunately, however, the statement is only partially correct, and it occurs to me that I owe it to myself, my friends, my acquaintances, and perhaps to the German citizens of the United States to make an explanation in regard to the true status of affairs. My "artillery corps," as you call it--it is actually ten batteries of six guns each--has gone to the battlefield; I, however, am detained here. And now I 2shall proceed to explain this fact.

    Nobody could have had a greater desire to participate in this War against the Rebels, than I. It so happened that I was in Switzerland when hostilities began, and did not have the necessary financial means to come to the United States immediately. Several attempts to obtain these means from our ambassadors in Europe were in vain. During the first part of September a good friend finally persuaded Professor Kinkel to advance the money to me from the German "Revolution Loan". Without hesitating a moment I left my family at Zurich and hastened to the United States with the sole intention of fighting for the cause of freedom in our beloved adopted country. On landing in New York I was informed that the Governor of Wisconsin had appointed me commander of an artillery regiment which was to be organized. I hastened to Wisconsin without stopping to visit friends and relatives whom I had not seen in years. The Governor of Wisconsin sent me to Washington to confer with the Secretary of War about equipment for my regiment, and after spending three weeks there I 3accomplished nothing save that I obtained an order to the Governor of Wisconsin to send my regiment to Louisville, Kentucky. This order was not carried out, however, because Governor Randall declared that he would not permit any troops to leave his state until they had been fully clothed and paid; and there could be no thought of complying with this demand. The number of my men increased to eleven hundred; but week after week passed without any better prospect of leading my regiment to the battlefield. Much time elapsed before the necessary uniforms were provided, and there was no thought of equip-ping us with cannon, horses, etc. Meanwhile, I received letters and telegrams which had been circling the country for weeks, requesting that I assume the command over the artillery forces of the state of Indiana. After a lengthy correspondence in regard to the matter, I finally decided to accept the offer because what I had heretofore heard about military preparations in Indiana led me to believe that I would be able to enter active service and see action more quickly through the authorities of that state than through those of Wisconsin.


    Upon my arrival in Indianapolis I found that the Governor's original plan to organize the artillery of this state was altered, inasmuch as I did not receive command of all the artillery forces, but only the four which have been sent to Kentucky and eight others, still to be organized, which have been designated as the "Second Artillery Regiment". Since I could not begin carrying out plans to establish the eight batteries, I went to Kentucky, with the permission of the Governor, to inspect the four batteries sent there from Indiana, and to give them the instructions and additional training I knew they needed. General Buell, the commanding officer of the army corps told me that he could not allow me to exercise any authority whatsoever over the batteries which were attached to his army corps, because I had not yet been enrolled in the service of the United States, and that I could not be enrolled until my regiment had twelve complete batteries.

    So I was obliged to return to Indianapolis without having attained my object, and confine my activity to organization. I encountered many difficulties.


    Aside from the fact that recruiting proceeded very slowly, since the state had already sent five per cent of its elligible men to the battlefields, I found it hard to acquire,the necessary artillery equipment, which, as you undoubtedly know, is very composite. In order to remove these difficulties, which I had foreseen, I selected the capitol city of the state as a place to establish a training camp, where I intended to concentrate the batteries and give them a thorough practical military education. Governor Morton promised repeatedly that no battery should be sent to the battlefield unless I had declared the unit ready for service. A four-week thorough training might have been sufficient to enable the men to render the most necessary services. However, I was not given sufficient time nor opportunity to give them even that much training. The batteries were ordered to the front just when they were prepared to receive and benefit by thorough instruction. There was no reason to send them to Kentucky, and evidently it was done merely to remove them from my supervision. After they had been idle in Camp Louisville for several weeks, they were sent to Cairo. Eight days thereafter three more 6batteries were ordered to Louisville--in such haste that one might have thought that the entire Rebel Army was approaching Louisville. Two of these batteries had neither horses nor cannon; and today, after two weeks, they are still idle at camp. The authorities, it is said, intend to equip them with twenty-four-pounders. The third battery is still in camp near Jeffersonville, on this side of the Ohio. Late one evening, two weeks ago, I received orders to send the last battery which I had in camp to Cairo immediately. This contingent left the next morning. It had only forty horses, instead of one hundred and ten, because a few weeks before orders had come from Washington that no more horses be bought here, and I had received no answer to my letters and telegrams requesting the horses necessary for my regiment. Today the Commander of the battery stationed at Cairo informed me that he cannot get any horses there, but must procure them from Indiana.

    While all batteries, excepting two which I have just begun to train, have been taken from me before they were sufficiently instructed and drilled; while ten 7batteries of my regiment (about fifteen hundred men) are with the army on the battlefield; I am forced to remain here in camp. They are forcing me to remain here, although I have asked repeatedly to be sent to the front with my batteries, although I have received promise over promise that my request would be granted, although there is a great lack of experienced artillery officers, although there is not one single experienced artillepman in the batteries comprising my regiment, although all officers, lieutenants, and men of my regiment, about seven-eights of which consist of native Americans, request that I instruct and lead them, and have voiced their complete confidence in me. Governor Morton has assured me that nobody, not excluding myself, takes a greater interest in the adjustment of my personal position than he; on this he has given me his word of honor. A week ago he informed me that the Assistant Secretary of War, Colonel Scott, had promised him that my case should be taken care of immediately. I am awaiting the fulfillment of this promise daily. So far I have had no further news. I cannot understand what reason there can be for treating me thus. It is a strange procedure, indeed. First 8it was said that I would have to have twelve batteries in order to be eligible for service in the United States Army. Now there is a rumor that the War Ministry or the High Command of the Army does not want to have any staff--officers in artillery regiments--which consists of volunteers.

    You will admit that the treatment which I have received is enough to make anybody impatient. I have told Governor Morton that I promised the soldiers of my regiment that I would lead them in battle as a colonel, or, if that were not possible, as a gunner, and that I was convinced that they would accept my advice or execute my orders.

    Fritz Anneke.

    Camp Murphy, Indiana, February 20, 1862. To the Editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung: A news item which appeared in yesterday's issue of your newspaper forces me to write about myself ...

    I J, III H, III D, I G, IV