Henry Freyhofer, Civil War Soldier
The family history about Henry has always been brief – the record merely states he enlisted in the Union Army, went to Calhoun, Kentucky, contracted Typhoid Fever and died. But we had this wonderful and rare photo of him in uniform. It was assumed he never saw action, but thanks to the internet and the vast amount of published diaries and documents, I have been able to reconstruct a likely account of the hell he went through from the point of his enlistment until his death based on the writings of others in his regiment including some possible encounters with the enemy.
One of the jewels I found about Henry was this newspaper article written by his Lieutenant, who actually remembered Henry 30 years later as he wrote about his experiences in the war:
It was the first death in Company B. Chris Hermann, Henry Fryhofer and Lewis Alinger, three German boys, enlisted at the same time, from the same neighborhood, they were about the same age, good and true, better boys never met.
I remember one night while on duty as officer of the guard, tattoo had sounded, I discovered a light in their quarters. The first notes of taps was sounded, I approached silently to discover the reason. I expected to find that the inmates were engaged in a quiet game of “Old Sledge,” but as I got near the tent I heard singing in a low subdued tone. I listened, they were singing in German. It was Fryhofer, Hermann, and Alinger. I knew the hymn by the tune: “I am a soldier of the cross, a follower of the lamb. And shall I fear to own his cause, or blush to speak his name.”
The singing ceased, and they got up on their knees, Fryhofer prayed; they kissed each other and laid down to sleep. I silently withdrew. I then felt I had in my company at least three true soldiers. In a few days Fryhofer was taken sick and died. (Lt. Jackson, Company B, 42nd Indiana)