August Gretsch born March 22, 1847 in Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.
Son of Johanna Katherina Fick and William Gretsch.
August enlisted in the US Army in New York City on May 17th of 1864. The civil war was still raging. He was 17 years old at the time of enlistment. He was discharged October 1, 1865 in Nashville, Tennesee.
August Gretsch was in the 58th New York Infantry.
In October, 2012, Ernest Copley gave me the following information about this regiment:
data from online records of official U.S. history:
The regiment left the State November 7, 1861; served in the 3d Brigade, Blenker’s Division, Army of the Potomac, from November, 1861; in same brigade and division, Mountain Department, from April, 1862; in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 1st Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862; in same brigade and division, nth Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 12, 1862; on veteran furlough from January, 1864; at Bridgeport, Ala., in 4th Division, 20th Corps, from March, 1864; in 3d Brigade, defenses of N. & C. R. R., Department of Cumberland, from June, 1864; at Nashville, Tenn., Department of Cumberland, from September, 1865; where it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Colonel Krzyzanowski, October 1, 1865.During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 2 officers, 22 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 6 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 3 officers, 60 enlisted men; total, 7 officers, 88 enlisted men; aggregate, 95; of whom 10 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
Translation: from the official posting record, I would surmise that they probably fought at Antietam (September 17, 1862), as the Union 1st Corps fought there. It’s possible, even likely, that if the unit stayed part of the I Corps, they’d have fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The posting to the Cumberland Dept. suggests the regiment went west in the fall of 1863, when the North sent two Corps (the XI and XII) to Tennessee. That also suggests they they were transferred from I Corp to XI and/XII Corp, but that would make sense, as both Corps were beefed up before being shipped out from the Eastern theater. If they were defending anything in the Department of the Cumberland, they would have been part of Rosecrans Army of Tennessee, although it would appear they were on garrison/RR-guard duty there. I would surmise that they fought at the Battle of Nashville, where George Thomas defeated Confederate John B. Hood’s army.
Just a top of the head. I have’t read the official Union history (called The War of the Rebellion – from which I obtained the above raw, very unfiltered data) in many years. I’d emphasize that in-depth research would reveal much more, and possibly a somewhat different story than the above, but that’s the best I can give you on the fly,
Thank you Ernie for this information.
The Battle of Nashville was December 15-December 16, 1864. It is quite likely, as Ernest Copley states, that August Gretsch was in this battle.
August Gretsch died in August 1, 1919. He had changed his name to August Powers.
National Cemetery, 950 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.
Sec. 39. Row A, Site 13