I would dearly love to find that all his stories are true. They, however, do seem too good to be.
View attachment 104326Of Pvt. Jeremiah Wilhelm, Omaha.com says:
The very dapper Jerry (Jeremiah) Wilhelm
“Born in Baltimore in 1844, he was a drummer boy with the 3rd Maryland Infantry Regiment and once shook hands with President Lincoln when a company from the unit was assigned as his bodyguard. He and three brothers fought at Gettysburg, and served in the Atlanta and Appomattox campaigns near the end of the war.
“Wilhelm moved to a farm near Dorchester, Nebraska in 1879, and worked for John Deere for more than 30 years before retiring in 1916. In his later years, he served as postmaster for the Nebraska State Senate. He attended the 75th anniversary observance of the Gettysburg battle. He died in 1942, at age 97, and is buried in Dorchester.”
He had enlisted at Baltimore on March 1st, 1862 in Company E, 3rd Maryland Volunteers. He himself was not with his regiment at Gettysburg, as he had been sick in Central Park Hospital in New York since early June, and would not rejoin the unit until October. His MSR reports him "present" at all other times. Pvt Wilhelm and his comrades mustered out at the termination of their enlistment on July 31, 1865.
Jeremiah Wilhelm kept up with his drumming after the war, and local Omaha newspaper coverage frequently mention him as drumming at reunions and public holiday celebrations. The last of which was just days before his death. We see him in the Grand Island Independent, of June 1, 1942:
View attachment 104327The caption reads: “Jeremiah Wilhelm, 98 year old Civil War veteran and drummer at the Battle of Gettysburg, brought his drum out Saturday and played a drum solo during Memorial Day ceremonies at the Soldiers’ Home. ‘Jerry’ as he is affectionately known by members of the home, was brought out in a wheelchair because he isn’t as spry as he used to be, but he didn’t show any signs of slowing up when it comes to beating the drums. Posing with him are two members of the Harry Norton junior drum and bugle corps."
[From a newspaper clipping scanned at http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/p/e/a/William-S-Pearce/PHOTO/0093photo.html]
Excellent work, John...I love it!!!
The drum he carried through the last years of the Civil War is now in Omaha's Durham Museum. He passed away on June 11, 1942, at the age of 98.
Looking forward to these. Thanks for posting.Over the next few days, I am going to be telling a little something about each of these six veterans. They all have interesting stories to tell.
The caption above, it seems, has the men a bit out of order. The gentleman, third from the left, is not Charles Barothy, but Homer S Woodworth. And quite the individual he was:
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