The Boßecker Newsletter

Volume 1 Issue 9 June 1996



8 MAY 1841 - 30 MAR 1900


Christian Boseker was the youngest son of the immigrants Peter [1802-1857] & Margaretha Barbara (Schmidt) Boßecker [abt 1805 - 1865].

Christian had 7 brothers & sisters, 5 of which survived to adulthood: Carolina Christiana (Boseker) Benz [1827-1887], John M. Boseker (abt 1831-1862), Charles Frederick Boseker (1834-1900), Henry Boseker (1838-1913) & Fredricka (Boseker) Bensman (1843-1900).

Christian (age 5 at the time of his immigration), his known siblings and parents arrived in the United States on the Danish ship SKJOLD on 16 Jun 1846 (I recently learned that Skjold means "Shield" in Danish). This is the same voyage described in some detail in Issue 5 of The Boßecker Newsletter.

Despite the fact that the families of the immigrants Johannes & Karl Boßecker are recorded in detail in the Evangelische Kirche Veilsdorf Germany Familienbuch,. Peter Boßecker family's vital statistics are not recorded there. Neither are they recorded in any of the other Veilsdorf Parish Records (baptisms, marriages & deaths) that were microfilmed.

Gerald Bosacker of Treasure Island, FL visited Veilsdorf, Germany and some of the nearby villages in August 1991. In a letter he wrote to me on 29 Sep 1991 he included transcriptions of some of the church records from nearby (about 7 miles) Eisveld, Germany.

In the Eisveld records was a baptism (3 Jun 1827) for Peter's eldest known child, Carolina Christiana Boßecker. The records noted that the father, Peter Boßecker, was "from Veilsdorf". Due to lack of time, Gerald was unable to follow-up on this item during his visit.

The Eisveld parish records, to the best of my knowledge, have not been microfilmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints so the ability to do follow-up research from the United States is limited.

Based upon the above information, it seems likely that Christian Boseker was born within a few miles of Veilsdorf.

In the 1850 Census, Christian is living in St Joseph Township, Allen County, IN with his father, his mother, three brothers and a sister. The eldest sibling, Caroline, is married and out of the household.

In the 1860 Census, 19 year old Christian is living with his widowed mother and is listed as a laborer (in 1859 Christian began learning the trade of carpenter). Brother John M. Boseker has married and has moved out of the household. Christian's other brothers, Charles (now married) & Henry, are still at home helping on the farm.

In the fall of 1861, Christian and his older brother, John M., became the first, but not the last, of our family to wear a military uniform of the United States. They enlisted in the Thirtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Christian serving in Company E as a Corporal while brother John served in Company D as a Sergeant.

The Thirtieth Regiment mustered in on September 24, 1861. The regiment was ordered to Camp Neven, at Nolin River, KY and arrived there via Indianapolis, INand Louisville, KY on October 9th. The Thirtieth Indiana spent the next 5 months at or near this site. I do not know if John or Christian were allowed to go home for a visit during this time.

On February 14th the Regiment began a march that would have it arrive late in the evening on April 6th near a site where two great armies were locked in desperate combat. A total of about 95,000 men would be involved in what would initially be called the Battle of Pittsburg Landing but which we now call the Battle of Shiloh.

The Battle of Shiloh started on April 6th with the Confederate troops staging what amounted to a surprise attack on Grant's army. During the battle that day, the Thirtieth Indiana was an element of a 25,000 man force marching toward the battlefield to reinforce Grant's army. Indeed, the reason for the Confederate attack on April 6th was to destroy Grant's army before these reinforcements could arrive. As they marched, the roar of the cannon could plainly be heard by these men.

At 11 o'clock that night the regiment arrived at the Tennessee River and boarded a steamer for Pittsburgh Landing. The steamer arrived at its destination at 6 o'clock on the morning of April 7th. I don't know if sleep was an option while on the river but, even if it was, I suspect that it would not have come easily for John & Christian Boseker that night.

The Thirtieth Indiana was ordered to the front and right center of the army and at 10 o'clock was in position. During the ensuing battle, the Thirtieth Indiana advanced across an open area known as "Woolf Field" near Water Oaks Pond and the Confederate artillery, located on a ridge to the right, left and center, directed its fire at the approaching Union soldiers with deadly effect.

This bombardment and the Confederate assaults that followed lasted for two hours. The Thirtieth Indiana's Commanding Officer was mortally wounded and many of the casualties suffered by the regiment were incurred during this time.

At the end of the day the Union army held the field and thus is considered the victor. The combined total casualties sustained by the two armies numbered more than 20,000. The Thirtieth Indiana suffered 129 of these casualties with 2 men missing; 6 officers and 109 men wounded and 12 men killed in action. One of the men killed was Christian's brother, Sergeant John M. Boseker. Sergeant Boseker became the first, but not the last, of our family to die in the service of his country.

The Battle of Shiloh and the death of his brother almost certainly had a profound effect on Christian. His military record indicates that from 30 Apr 1862 until his discharge on 28 Mar 1863 Christian was hospitalized. His Certificate of Disability for Discharge states that Christian was "...incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of hereditary valvular disease of the heart." It also describes Christian as being 5 feet 9½ inches tall, having a fair complexion, blue eyes & light hair.

Upon his return to Fort Wayne, Christian may have applied for a disability pension as in his military records there is a letter dated 7 Sep 1863 from an "examining surgeon at Fort Wayne, Ind." from which I have extracted the following:

"He was discharged for alleged 'Heart disease', but upon a careful examination of him, I am unable to discover that he has any organic ------ of the heart. There may be a slight hypertrophy, but there are no abnormal sounds, and I can see no reason why he is not, at present, able to labor duty."

On 28 Sep 1863 Christian Boseker married Cornelia Hinton. The ceremony was performed Rev. John Hill, a Methodist minister. Christian & Cornelia were the parents of 4 children; Ella Boseker (16 Apr 1865-17 Jul 1865), Charles Boseker (29 Mar 1867-15 Jul 1867), Lida Elizabeth (Boseker)(Drake) Wheeler (16 Jul 1868-?) & Harry Christian Boseker (27 Sep 1870-1938).

Upon his return to civilian life, Christian returned to the carpentry trade. In 1865 Christian began contracting and soon was soon involved in rather large projects. He built the court-houses of Defiance County, OH, Wells County, IN and Adams County, IN, the Allen County, IN Jail, the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne and the Federal Building in Fort Wayne. Also during this time, Christian engaged in the manufacture of wheels.

Christian bought The Fort Wayne Journal in 1888 but sold it after 18 months to devote his full attention to his contracting business.

Christian underwent an operation on 21 Mar 1900 in which his spleen was removed. Christian died on 30 Mar 1900 and is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, IN. The doctor attributed the death to a stomach hemorrhage. Cornelia (Hinton) Boseker died on 12 May 1920 and is buried next to her husband.

This page was posted on 23 Feb 1997.

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