Louis "The Bugler" Benz

Robert Gray

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#1
Louis Benz was a US Army Musician and Chief Bugler of the US Military Academy for 40 years, 1834-1874. He died in his early 70's, still on active duty at West Point. Born in Orlofen, Germany, the former cavalry musician was a master of the keyed bugle. Preceded in death two years earlier by his wife, Rachel, he remained devoted to his post at West Point and to his dog, "Hans". He is recognized as one of the most distinguished buglers in American history. Although his surname is spelled "Bentz" on the monument marking his grave, he is registered on the official burial roster of the US Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration as "LOUIS BENZ, PVT/BUGLER DET ART, USMA/US CADET CORPS, DATE OF DEATH 7/09/1878, BURIED AT: SECTION A, SITE 403, US MILITARY ACADEMY".

But as Benz or Bentz, a bugler by any other name could not have been held in greater affection by the West Point's Corps of Cadets, who designed and paid for his monument. Made of then-fashionable cast zinc, the inscriptions on its facades pay tribute to his service, citing him as "The Bugler", "A Faithful Soldier" and "Old Bentz".

Nikita Barlow
www.findagrave.com

lf5a.jpg
 

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Pat Young

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#6
Louis Benz was a US Army Musician and Chief Bugler of the US Military Academy for 40 years, 1834-1874. He died in his early 70's, still on active duty at West Point. Born in Orlofen, Germany, the former cavalry musician was a master of the keyed bugle. Preceded in death two years earlier by his wife, Rachel, he remained devoted to his post at West Point and to his dog, "Hans". He is recognized as one of the most distinguished buglers in American history. Although his surname is spelled "Bentz" on the monument marking his grave, he is registered on the official burial roster of the US Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration as "LOUIS BENZ, PVT/BUGLER DET ART, USMA/US CADET CORPS, DATE OF DEATH 7/09/1878, BURIED AT: SECTION A, SITE 403, US MILITARY ACADEMY".

But as Benz or Bentz, a bugler by any other name could not have been held in greater affection by the West Point's Corps of Cadets, who designed and paid for his monument. Made of then-fashionable cast zinc, the inscriptions on its facades pay tribute to his service, citing him as "The Bugler", "A Faithful Soldier" and "Old Bentz".

Nikita Barlow
www.findagrave.com

View attachment 126602
Great photo!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#7
No reason to be sorry. Can't know of everything that's been posted before (frankly, there's not too much that hasn't already been touched on somewhere). And, there's no harm in a reminder.

We have so many, many terrific threads and photos, it's wonderful discovering them. Missed this in 2014 and 2017! Never too late- what an awesome photo and story.
 
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#12
Interestingly, everywhere the birthplace of Louis Benz (Bentz) is given as "Orlofen", Germany. But there is no place, neither village nor town, nor city here that is named Orlofen, but I found one named "Orlowen" in East Prussia, which is now Poland.
Here is a map of the region from GenWiki:
1560267712089.png


@GELongstreet , do you think he could be born in Orlowen? The pronunciation would be quite similar, as the "w" in German is pronounced like a soft "f".
 
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#15
... do you think he could be born in Orlowen? The pronunciation would be quite similar, as the "w" in German is pronounced like a soft "f".
Possibly. Writing foreign words correctly never was a strength to be encountered in earlier American writing, and to be fair consistent spelling of names or places wasn´t completely established either. Apparently there were two Orlowens in East Prussia, and maybe other possiblities as e.g. there was a town named Urloffen in Baden. In the end we don´t know, we´d need more info on region or actual country he was born in - even the country is kinda wrong as after all there wasn´t a Germany at that point (HRE ended in 1806 when he was born).
 
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#16
there was a town named Urloffen in Baden
That was what I also thought at first, and then I thought about some place that maybe ended with -hofen, which is quite common in Bavaria, but then I found Orlowen. Well, as you said, we will probably never know, but it's strange that no source gives his correct birthplace or at least the state/region. Seems every author just copied that wrong "Orlofen" from earlier sources... :stomp:
 

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