Monday, April 12, 2010

From Immigrant to Civil War Corporal

On this day in 1861 Confederate forces fired on Ft. Sumter starting the U.S. Civil War. Today I think of my ancestors that fought on both sides of the war. If any of your ancestors were living in the US from 1861 to 1865 they may have served as well. My third great paternal grand uncle Joseph Flading (Fladung) was one of the many that fought in the U.S. Civil War. I find his service especially interesting because he was a newly naturalized U.S. citizen.

Joseph immigrated here from Germany sometime between 1840 and 1858 and settled in Allegheny County, PA. (1) In 1858 Joseph became a naturalized citizen (1) of the United States and 3 years later on August 9, 1861 he enlisted in the Union army as a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary Company L. (2)
Camp of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry near the battlefield of
Fort Burnham, Virginia, October 29, 1864.

As a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry Joseph participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virgina. One of the most interesting parts of Joesph Flading's military service to me was his capture at the Olive Branch Church in Virginia on February 7, 1863. I recently found a report on Google Books from the Confederate side of the skirmish describing the fight and the number of Union soldiers killed, captured, and wounded. I've embedded the report below.

At some point he was released by the Confederate army and continued to serve in the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary until he was discharged as a Corporal on August 7, 1865. (2) Joseph survived guns, cannons, disease, and capture by the enemy. And he did it all just three years after becoming a citizen of the United States. I am very proud of my immigrant Civil War Ancestor.

Interested in finding your Civil War ancestor? Start at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors site for a free search!


Year: 1910; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll T624_1300; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 337; Image: 790.

2-Year: 1890; Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll 88; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 49.

1 comment:

Family Curator said...

Thank you, Sandra, for sharing a great photo and story. I can see why you are proud of your Civil War ancestor!

Denise, The Family Curator