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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Ernst Aldag

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 582 - 583

Ernst Aldag, a hardware merchant at No. 526 South Fourteenth Street, Sheboygan, is both an early settler and a veteran soldier of the late war, and was born in the town of Nine, Milwaukee County, Wis., May 18, 1844. His father, Ludwig Aldag, was born in Oldenburg, Prussia, Germany, on the 11th of June, 1809. Ludwig Aldag learned the trade of harness-making, and traveled in his native country as a journeyman for a number of years. While still a young man, he emigrated to the United States, and located in Milwaukee County. He there married Mary Bahr, also a native of Prussia. The father died in the town of Nine, Milwaukee County, when his son Ernst was a child of about ten years of age. The father left but one other child, a daughter eight days old. The latter is the wife of a cousin of Ernst Bahr, and resides in the city of New York. Not long after the death of the father, the mother and her two children removed to Sheboygan, where she died of cholera a short time after.

Mr. Aldag was thus bereft by the death of his parents when but a small lad, and grew up without the guiding influence of parental care and love. On arriving at a suitable age, he become apprenticed to the trade of blacksmithing, which he learned, and which business he followed for twenty-two years of his life. Mr. Aldag had not yet attained to man's estate when the storm of war burst upon the land, and the great rebellion, which was to cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, had begun. He resolved to enter the military service of his country, and on August 21, 1862, enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He entered the army as a private, and was promoted to be Corporal on May 24, 1864, and was discharged at Brownsville, Tex., August 29, 1865. This regiment has a brilliant record, and in all the marches and battles in which it was engaged Mr. Aldag shared. These included the Vicksburg campaign, under Gen. Grant. After the surrender his command went to Little Rock, Ark., to co-operate with Gen. Banks in his ill-fated Red River campaign. But the retreat of Banks involved the retreat of all commands in any way connected with the expedition. From Little Rock the command to which the Twenty-seventh belonged fell back, and were overtaken by the enemy at Saline River, where a severe battle ensued, lasting a number of hours. The enemy was checked, and the Union forces continued their retreat to Pine Bluff, Ark., and wintered at Little Rock. The following spring he went to New Orleans, and there joined the expedition for Mobile, Ala., and took part in the attacks on Ft. Blakely and Spanish Fort, and thus followed the fortunes of the Twenty-seventh till his discharge at the time and place already mentioned.

On returning home, after the close of the war, Mr. Aldag resumed work at his trade, and also for a number of years operated in connection a grocery store, dealing in flour, feed, etc. The latter business he disposed of to his son and son-in-law, and since 1891 has been in the hardware business. He also deals in real estate.

Mr. Aldag was married February 3, 1867, to Miss Caroline Knocke, of Sheboygan, and a daughter of Henry Knocke. Mrs. Aldag was born in Germany, December 1, 1848. They have been blessed with twelve children, eleven of whom, four sons and seven daughters, are living, they having lost a daughter. The eldest son, Otto, with the son-in-law, Martin Burhop, are the successors in business of Mr. Aldag, as above stated. Emma, the second in order of birth, is the wife of Mr. Burhop. The others are Lena, Henry, Menie, Clara, Ernst, Sarah, Edwin, Hilda and Etna. Bertha is deceased.

Mr. Aldag is one of the representative citizens of Sheboygan, of which he has been a resident very nearly all his life. He has been a member of the City Council for four years. In matters of a national character, Mr. Aldag votes the Republican ticket, though he is not a strong partisan, believing in supporting the best man for office, independent of his political views. He was a gallant soldier and is a worthy and respected citizen.


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