Sheboygan Pioneer Monthly Supplement
Passing Of John Steffen
The list of deceased veterans of the Civil war is growing well toward the point when there will be very few of them left to be honored in the flesh, for even the youngest of them will probably pass away within the next ten years.
One of these veterans, John Steffen, passed away at the Soldiers' Home of Waupaca, at the advanced age of 92 years. He enlisted on August 21, 1862, together with other young men from Town Rhine, Town Mosel and Sheboygan, and after six weeks' training at Camp Siegel at Milwaukee, he and his comrades were sent to Washington, D. C., from where they went into winter quarters and training at Brooks Station in Virginia, about 12 miles out of Washington. The men, known as Company H, 26th Volunteer Wisconsin Infantry, proved their worth in many engagements, the war records showing that Steffen's regiment lost 169 men and his own company lost 19 men, killed in action, 34 wounded, and 6 men dead of diseases. Mr. Steffen was spared personal injury, having had several close calls, however, once when a bullet went thru his hat and once when a bullet ricocheted from his rifle.
When Mr. Steffen was first in Washington he saw Abraham Lincoln at a review in which the company participated.
John Steffen was a very likable man, even at his advanced age, and his smiling face was welcome at every meeting of the G.A.R., of which organization he was a conspicuous member, having held offices in the local Gustavus Wintermeyer Post, twice as Commander. He lost his first and his second wife by death, and is survived by five sons and one daughter; two sons, Arthur and William, having served in the World war. He was also at one time president of the United Military associations of Sheboygan.
John Steffen was born in Detroit, Mich., Dec. 5, 1842, and came to Sheboygan with his parents in 1848. His enlistment in the Northern army proved the fine metal of our pioneer children. He had learned the cooper trade before the Civil war, after which he engaged in the flour and seed business in several locations in Sheboygan, retiring from business in 1913. He was a member of Holy Name (Catholic) church, and funeral obsequies at Calvary cemetery were conducted by the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Philipp Dreis.
A man like John Steffen, who can meet his neighbors with a smiling countenance, is surely worthy of respect.
Copyright 1997 - 2005 by Debie Blindauer
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