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Kehrwecker Family Papers - MS 641
The Kehrwecker Family Papers consists of approximately .3 linear ft., dating from 1830 to 1960. Primarily the Civil War era correspondence of Frederick and John Kehrwecker from 1861 through 1863, the collection also includes miscellaneous other letters, including a small series of Civil War letters in German, legal documents, family genealogical material, printed items, photographs, and an oral interview with family member Anna Kehrwecker taped in 1959.
The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections through the cooperation of John and Pauline Andrews of Findlay, Ohio, Donald and Patricia Nesbitt, Mt. Gilead, Ohio, James and Nancy Richardson, Thurmont, Md., and Karen and David Bartman, Edison, Ohio, May 12, 1992. Additional genealogical material collected by David Watkins of Lexington, Ohio was donated by Shari Dale Morton of Kalamazoo, Michigan in July of 1993. Translations for the German language correspondence were provided by Ingrid Schmidt. This register was prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts, Center for Archival Collections, November, 1992, with revisions made in July 1993. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection.
John George Kehrwecker was born July 20, 1808 in Wurtemburg, Germany. In 1830 he emigrated to the United States, working for a time in Pennsylvania, and finally settling on a farm in Westfield Township, Morrow County, Ohio. After he came to Ohio, he met Anna Mary Hack, whose family also came from Wurtemburg. They were married in 1837 and began raising a family.
The Kehrwecker Family consisted of a total of thirteen children, John Johannes, John George, Frederick, Christena, Jacob, Henry, Mary A., Caroline, George H., Frederica, Sarah, Anna M., and Ella Evelyn. Three of the boys, John George, Jacob, and Henry died within two days of each other in February 1851. The letters in the collection are primarily the correspondence of John Johannes and Frederick during their service with Ohio regiments in the Civil War.
While John was the eldest son, Frederick (born Aug. 21, 1841) was the first to join the service. He mustered into Company E, 31st O.V.I. in September 1861 as a private. During his service Frederick was involved in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi and a battle at Trinity, Alabama, both of which are referred to in his letters. Frederick died of disease at Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 28, 1862.
John (born Feb. 25, 1838) served with Company C, 96th O.V.I. first as a corporal and then as sergeant. His regiment was involved in battles at Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi, at Arkansas Post, Arkansas, and in the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. John also died of disease, on July 17, 1863 at Vicksburg.
Many of the correspondents and people mentioned in the letters (Hack, Renz, Metzner, Brenizer, Shaw, Rhodes, Foust, Wood, and Landon) are either relatives, close neighbors, or friends. The Hack Family were cousins of the Kehrweckers. John G.H. Metzner, who served in the 96th O.V.I. with John, who had worked as a farmhand for J.G. Kehrwecker, married Mary Hack, the daughter of Stephen Hack, after the war in 1866. At the time of the correspondence, Christena Kehrwecker was married to George Renz. The 1860 Census shows many of the other people referred to were living in the vicinity of the Kehrwecker farm in Westfield Township of Morrow County.
The Kehrwecker Family Papers is an extensive series of Civil War era correspondence, primarily the letters of Frederick and John Kehrwecker, covering the period from Sept. 1861 until mid-July 1863, with a few additional letters into the 1880's. Additionally, the collection includes a small number of printed items, legal papers, maps, photographs, and an oral interview with Anna Kehrwecker (born 1858), a younger sister of Fred and John, recorded Dec. 27, 1959, when she was 101 years old.
The most extensive correspondence series is the sequence of letters from Frederick Kehrwecker, serving in Co.E, 31st O.V.I., to his brother John. Beginning the day after he mustered-in on Sept. 1, 1861, Frederick's 24 letters give descriptions of camp life, training, activities of friends, troop movements, and battles. The 31st Regiment, O.V.I. was involved in two major actions during the course of Frederick's letters. The Siege of Corinth, Mississippi is described in the letters of May 11-June 2, 1862, and the participation of Company E in the Battle of Trinity Station is mentioned in the letter of Aug. 6.
The small pocket diary which belonged to Frederick contains very few entries of substance. Several pages consist primarily of personal accounts from March through August 1862. However, there are brief entries detailing activities for May 6 and June 14 at Corinth, Mississippi, and Sept. 2 and 11 at the Hospital at Nashville, Tenn. Frederick died at Nashville on Sept. 28, 1862.
John Kehrwecker's correspondence includes letters to his brother Frederick, to one of his sisters, to other members of his family, and to a friend, Levi Maxwell. The two early letters written to his brother describe events around Westfield Township and activities of friends and family before John joined the army. In the letters of July 29 and August 20 John tells of being mustered in to Co.C, 96th O.V.I., giving the names of other local men in the service. With the death of Frederick in September 1862, John's correspondence continues in letters to others. The letter of Jan. 7, 1863 to Levi Maxwell describes the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi, including heavy losses suffered by another regiment, the 16th Ohio, in that battle. The Battle of Arkansas Post is described in the letter of Jan. 13, 1863 to his family, including names of family friends killed. Two letters to his sister (June 13 and 26, 1863) and one to his brother George (July 4, 1863) describe the Siege of Vicksburg and the surrender of the city. John died on July 17, 1863 of disease at Vicksburg.
The collection includes a small series of letters written to John from friends at home and in the service with other regiments. The letters of J.H. Rhodes with Co. K., 43rd Regt. O.V.I., describe activities around Corinth, Miss. The letter from Lewis Hack of July 30, 1862 mentions events at Camp Chase, Ohio while finishing a 100 day tour of service with Co. C, 85th Regt. O.V.I. The remaining letters are all from women back home in Cardington. Of particular interest in these letters are two different accounts of the same pro-Vallandigham "Butternut" rally held in Cardington, one from John's sister (July 15, 1863) and the other from "Miss Jane" (July 17).
The remainder of the correspondence in the collection are German language letters to John George Kehrwecker. The earliest of these are addressed to him at locations in Pennsylvania, soon after he emigrated to the United States. This correspondence is divided into three series; Civil War era letters; items from C.F. Felger of Arcola, Indiana; and other German correspondence. The Civil War letters include two significant items from John G.H. Metzner, who served in the 96th O.V.I. with John Kehrwecker. One letter recounts the participation of the regiment in a battle early in 1864, and the other describes the conditions in Mobile, Alabama during the siege of that city in March of 1865. The correspondence from Christof Friedrich Felger, an old family friend, describes activities of family and mutual friends, as well as agricultural activities in the area of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The last series of German correspondence are letters to America from family members who remained at the old home in Schutzingen, Germany. The letters are of interest in establishing the relationships of the extended Kehrwecker family, with references to members emigrating to America, agricultural conditions at home (a wine growing region), and general activities of family and friends.
The balance of the collection includes miscellaneous legal papers, maps, certificates, photographs, and printed material. One printed item of note is a small pocket-sized devotional book in German published in 1862 for soldiers serving in the Union Army. Among the photographic items is a picture of John Kehrwecker in uniform, probably taken in 1862.
Finally, the collection includes a taped interview with Anna Kehrwecker, conducted on Dec. 27, 1959 when she was 101 years old. The content of the interview deals primarily with life around Cardington, Ohio during the late 19th century. While Anna recalls seeing the Lincoln Funeral Train pass Cardington, most of her answers regarding her brothers or the Civil War are sketchy. Anna died five months after the interview on May 25, 1960.
CORRESPONDENCE - FREDERICK TO JOHN
Includes descriptions of camp life, training, activities of friends, troop movements, and battles, including the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and the Battle of Trinity Station, Ala.
CORRESPONDENCE - JOHN TO FREDERICK
Describes events around Westfield Township before joining the army, and describes being mustered in to Co.C, 96th O.V.I.
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS TO FREDERICK
23 June 1862, 11 Sept 1862
Letters of W.W. Rhodes and sister, Mary A. Kehrwecker, describing local events
CORRESPONDENCE - JOHN TO SISTER
General accounts of camp life and activities, also includes description of the Siege of Vicksburg and the surrender of the city
CORRESPONDENCE - JOHN TO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
General accounts of camp life and activities, also includes description of the Battle of Arkansas Post, and the surrender of Vicksburg
CORRESPONDENCE - JOHN TO MISCELLANEOUS
7 January 1863
Letter to Levi Maxwell, describes the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Mississippi, including heavy losses suffered by the 16th O.V.I. in that battle
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS TO JOHN
Letters from J.H. Rhodes (Co. K., 43rd Regt. O.V.I.), Lewis Hack (Co. C, 85th Regt. O.V.I.), and several women back home in Cardington. Includes two different accounts of pro-Vallandigham rally held in Cardington
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS TO FAMILY
25 January 1863
Letter from Christina M. Hack, wife of George Hack, including references to family members in service and local events
CORRESPONDENCE - TREASURY DEPARTMENT
Notifications to John George Kehrwecker concerning payment of funds due to his deceased sons, for services and bounty payments
CORRESPONDENCE - GERMAN CIVIL WAR LETTERS
Letters to John G. Kehrwecker, from John Metzner and Johann Schirm, in German with translations
CORRESPONDENCE - C.F. FELGER TO J.G. KEHRWECKER
Correspondence between C.F. Felger and J.G. Kehrwecker, in German with translations
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS GERMAN LETTERS
Correspondence from various relatives back in Schutzingen, Germany, in German with translations
CORRESPONDENCE - UNMATCHED POSTAL COVERS
Postal covers addressed to John G. Kehrwecker in Cardington, Ohio
Diary written by Fred Kehrwecker from May 6 through Sept 11 at the hospital in Nashville. Very brief entries, written in pencil.
Lyrics to a song "The Bonnie Flag with Stripes and Stars", attributed to Col. J. L. Geddes [?] of the 8th Iowa Infantry
Handwritten genealogical information on the Kehrwecker, Hack, and related families, including photocopies of obituaries, certificates, and photographs (some donated by Shari Dale Morton). Also a photocopy of a historical sketch of the 96th O.V.I.
Various deeds for land owned by John George Kehrwecker in Morrow County, Ohio
Military appointment papers of John Kehrwecker as Fifth Sergeant of Co. E, 96th O.V.I.
Ditch notice for land owned by J.G. Kehrwecker, and an unsigned contract for telephone service on the Shaw Town exchange of the Morrow County Telephone Company
MAPS, CHARTS, DIAGRAMS, GRAPHS, LISTS, ETC.
Plat of a resurvey & subdivision of the SE 1/4 of Section 20, Township 7, Range 18, U.S. Military District in Morrow County, Ohio
Map showing swamp and canal lands of area partially identified as Township 7 N, Range 6 W, from the land office in Ionia, Michigan
Naturalization certificate (1840) of John George Kehrwecker; confirmation certificates for Frederick, Ellie, Sarah, and Anna at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cardington; and miscellaneous school or religious items
Des Soldaten Hand-Buch. Religious and devotional pocket book, published by the Presbyterian Publications Board. Belonged to John
Beadle's Dime Songbook, no. 15. Popular, comic, and sentimental songs of the late Civil War period
Civil War era photo of John Kehrwecker in uniform, two modern photographs of Anna Kehrwecker, and one of a young man with identification on verso of "Harry in Aunt Anna's brother's Civil War uniform"
27 Dec. 1959
Oral interview with Anna Kehrwecker, conducted in the home of Martha Barler, Cardington, Ohio, by Dwayne Brown of Cardington and Paul Drake of Columbus
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN MATERIAL
Benjamin Harrison celluloid campaign ribbon
Box 1Folder 1: Fred Kehrwecker to brother John
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Sept. 1, 1861 [Camp Chase, Ohio]
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Sept. 9, 1861 [Camp Chase, Ohio]
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Sept. 21, 1861 [Camp Chase, Ohio]
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Sept. 26, 1861 [Camp Chase, Ohio]
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Oct. 4, 1861 Garret Co., Ky., [Camp Dick Robinson]
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Oct. 16, 1861 Camp Dick Robinson
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Nov. 16, 1861 Camp Dick Robinson
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Nov. 27, 1861 Camp Dick Robinson
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Dec. 12, 1861 Camp Dick Robinson
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Jan. 1, 1862 Boones Knob, Ky.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Jan. 17, 1862 Boones Knob, Ky.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Jan. 20, 1862 Boones Knob, Ky.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Feb. 4, 1862 Boones Knob, Ky.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Feb. 20, 1862 Fredericksburg, Ky.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Mar. 5, 1862 Nashville, Tenn.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Mar. 17, 1862 Nashville, Tenn.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Apr. 16, 1862 Camp near Clifton, Tenn.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Apr. 24, 1862 Camp near Shiloh, Tenn. battleground
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, May 11, 1862 Camp, Monterey, Miss.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, May 29, 1862 Camp near Corinth, Miss.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, June 2, 1862 Camp near Corinth, Miss.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, June 18, 1862 Camp near Corinth, Miss.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, July 22, 1862 Trinity Station, Ala.
- Fred Kehrwecker to brother John, Aug. 6, 1862 Camp near Winchester, Tenn.
Folder 2: John Kehrwecker to brother Fred
- John Kehrwecker to brother Fred, June 28, 1862 Cardington, Morrow Co., Ohio
- John Kehrwecker to brother Fred, July 13, 1862 Cardington, Morrow Co., Ohio
- John Kehrwecker to brother Fred, July 29, 1862 Cardington, Morrow Co., Ohio
- John Kehrwecker to brother Fred, Aug. 20, 1862 Cardington, Morrow Co., Ohio
Folder 3: Miscellaneous to Frederick
- W.W. Rhodes to Fred Kehrwecker, June 23, 1862
- Mary A. Kehrwecker to Fred Kehrwecker, Sept. 11, 1862
Folder 4: Miscellaneous to Frederick
- John Kehrwecker to sister, Mar. 17, 1863 Millikins Bend, La.
- John Kehrwecker to sister, Apr. 6, 1863 Millikins Bend, La.
- John Kehrwecker to sister, May 15, 1863 Purkens Plantation, La.
- John Kehrwecker to sister, June 13, 1863 Vicksburg, Miss.
- John Kehrwecker to sister, June 26, 1863 Vicksburg, Miss.
Folder 5: John to Other Family Members
- John Kehrwecker to Mother, Oct. 30, 1862 Camp Sutton, near Lexington, Ky.
- [John Kehrwecker], Nov. 17, 1862
- John Kehrwecker, Dec. 22-27, 1862 Mississippi River, On the Hiawatha
- John Kehrwecker, Jan. 13, 1863 Battlefield at Arkansas Post
- John Kehrwecker to Father, Mar. 1, 1863 Youngs Point, La.
- John Kehrwecker to Father, Apr. 17, 1863 Homes Plantation, La.
- John Kehrwecker to brother [George?], July 4, 1863 Vicksburg, Miss.
Folder 6: John to Miscellaneous
- John Kehrwecker to Levi Maxwell, Jan. 7, 1863 Mississippi River, On the Hiawatha
Folder 7: Miscellaneous to John
- J.H. Rhodes to John Kehrwecker, July 1, 1862 Camp near Corinth, Miss.
- Lewis Hack to John Kehrwecker, July 30, 1862 Camp Chase, Ohio
- J.H. Rhodes to John Kehrwecker, Aug.1, 1862 Camp near Corinth, Miss.
- Jennie C. to John Kehrwecker, Aug. 17, 1862 [Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio]
- Mollie C. Brenizer to John Kehrwecker, Apr. 18, 1863 Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio
- Susannah Shaw to John Kehrwecker, June 24, 1863 [Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio]
- Miss Jane to John Kehrwecker, June 30, 1863 [Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio]
- Sister to John Kehrwecker, July 15, 1863 Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio
- Miss Jane to John Kehrwecker, July 17, 1863 [Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio]
Folder 8: Miscellaneous to Family
- Christina M. Hack to "Dear Cousins", Jan. 25, 1863
- Treasury Department correspondence 1863-1868
Folder 10: German Civil War Letters
- Johann Schirm to J.G. Kehrwecker, Oct. 26, 1864 Washington
- John G. Metzner to J.G. Kehrwecker, [Early 1864] Camp near Grand Ecore, La.
- John G. Metzner to J.G. Kehrwecker, May 26, 1865 Camp near Mobile, Ala.
Folder 11: C. F. Felger to J. G. Kehrwecker
- C.F. Felger to J.G. Kehrwecker, June 26, 1836 Reading [Pa.]
- [C.F. Felger to J.G. Kehrwecker], Oct. 29, 1865 Fort Wayne, Ind.
- C.F. Felger to J.G. Kehrwecker, Oct. 6, 1872 Arcola, Ind.
- C.F. Felger to J.G. Kehrwecker, Dec. 16, 1874 Arcola, Ind.
- C.F. Felger to J.G. Kehrwecker, Dec. 19, 1875 Arcola, Ind.
Folder 12: Miscellaneous German Letters
- Johann Rossler to J.G. Kehrwecker, Jan. 16, 1831 Schutzingen, Germany
- Johann Rossler to J.G. Kehrwecker, Apr. 1, 1833 Schutzingen, Germany
- Brother and Sister-in-law to J.G. Kehrwecker, Apr. 10, 1859 Schutzingen, Germany
- Philipp Gottlieb Kehrwecker to J.G. Kehrwecker, Mar. 26, 1861 Schutzingen, Germany
- Christoph Hellman to J.G. Kehrwecker, Aug. 7, 1881 Schutzingen, Germany
- Christoph Hellman to J.G. Kehrwecker, Nov. 1, 1881 Schutzingen, Germany
- Baptismal documents 1830, 1882
- Unmatched postal covers 1861-1864?
- Diary of Fred Kehrwecker 1862
- Poem, "The Bonnie flag" 1862?
- Genealogical research notes n.d.
- Deeds 1833-1876
- Military appointment papers 1862
- Miscellaneous legal papers 1880, 1905
- Plat of the SE 1/4 of Sec. 20, Tp. 7, R.18 1838
- Map showing swamp and canal lands Ionia, Mich. 1854
- Certificates, 1822-1876 (scattered)
- Des Soldaten Hand-Buch, 1862
- Beadle's Dime Songbook, no. 15, 1864
- Photographs, 1862, 1960?
- Oral interview with Anna Kehrwecker, 1959
- Benjamin Harrison celluloid campaign ribbon, 1888?
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