20th New York Infantry Regiment's Civil War Newspaper Clippings

A dispatch, just received, informs us that the Twentieth regiment (Turner Rifles) are to arrive at Jersey City at five o'clock today. This fine body of men is, in fact a Williamsburgh Regiment. Many of its officers were, when mustered into service, residents of the Eastern District. Major Schneph of Williamsburgh, comes back as commander of the regiment, Colonel Von : Vegesack being wounded at the late battle on . j the Rappahannock.
There have been a great many changes made since the regiment left here. Some resigned, some were taken prisoners and a large number were killed and disabled for duty during the many conflicts in which the regiment took part. It behaved bravely in all the encounters, and therefore deserves a hearty welcome by the citizens of this district. The 16th ward will undoubtedly display all its colors to-day, and have a separate holiday to-morrow, as it is well known that the Turner Rifles are the favorites of the German population. When the regiment was first started, Franz Sigel was invited to take the office of Colonel, but being busily engaged in forming regiments at St Louis, he had to decline the position. For a short time afterwards, he had the regiment under his command during his stay in Virginia. Should he receive a command there, to which he is justly entitled, the Turners, as well as other German regiments, will soon be under his flag.

Military Affairs
The city authorities last evening entertained the Twentieth regiment New York State Volunteers (Turner Rifles), by an excellent banquet at Turner Hall, in Orchard street. The Twentieth regiment returned from the seat of war some three weeks since, and were, on that occasion, received with the utmost enthusiasm at the hands of the New York public. At the time the Committee on National Affairs of the Common Council had not properly made their arrangement in order to give those regiments that formal reception which their gallant deeds in the field entitled them to, and hence the postponement of the banquet in their honor, which would otherwise have occurred had everything been in proper working order.
At eight o'clock the large room of Turner Hall was filled 4 with members of the regiment, together with a large number of invited guests. Among those present were Col. Von Vegesack, of the Twentieth; Major Christensen; Aldermen Mitchell, Jeremiah, Reid and Ryers; Councilmen Webster, Keenan and McConnell and several others. The hall was appropriately decorated with national flags and emblems. Prominent among them were the German colors, while the Stars and Stripes, together with other national ensigns, waved in social accord. An excellent band enlivened the festivities of the occasion, and several musical volunteers offered their quota of songs for the entertainment of the guests. After the interests of the inner man had been properly attended to, Colonel Von Vegesack, of the Twentieth made some few remarks to the soldiers, and concluded by toasting the health of the city authorities of New York.
Alderman Jeremiah responded to the toast in a short but eloquent speech, which was received with great enthusiasm by those present.
After spending the time in the most agreeable manner, the proceedings terminated at a late hour.

[June 8, 1861]
This regiment, under command of Colonel Max : Weber, was to have left for Fortress Monroe yesterday, in accordance with orders received, but it will be delayed until Monday next, as the friends of the regiment are raising a donation of money to be distributed among the members, many of whom are greatly in need of it. 
At 10 o'clock on Monday the regiment will march down Third avenue to Union square, where a citizens escort will join them, and on arriving at the City Hall, several flags will be presented, after which they will embark on a transport for Fortress Monroe.

The following disposition has been made of the one hundred and twenty-one men of the 20th, who refused to cross with Hooker, claiming that the time of their enlistment had expired:
" Last evening the sentence of the 121 men, including two Sergeants of the 20th New York Volunteers, who stacked their arms a week ago Wednesday, was read to the various commands at dress parade. They are to forfeit all pay now or becoming due them, be dishonorably discharged from the service, and serve at hard labor on Government ; works during the time the war continues."

This regiment, under Col. Seigle, is composed entirely of German Turners, and numbers 780 men. They were inspected by Major Hubbell yesterday and "passed" to a man. The movements of the regiment in drill were as perfect as might be expected of much older soldiers. It is said many of the members served in the German rebellion and can handle a rifle with skill and precision.

[Chansellorville May 1863]
F. Waltz, G, right leg; 
Cor. Jargis, slight;
Cor J Shaffe, E, slight; 
A Jackers. D, right arm;
L Kalzer, C, right arm; 
W E Hamner, C, slight; ;
A Zube, C, head, slight; 
Cor J Lechbricker, C;
P Lenz , D, right leg; 
Sgt G Stein, I, right hand; 
H Freidrich, G, right foot; 
D Glockner, B, right arm;
2nd Lt. F Schmidt, I, slight; 
Sgt C Schmclock, I, arm;
E Kubal, A, right leg; 
C Zellinski, A, left arm;
W Wealean, H, left leg; 
W Leied, I, left thigh;
Capt H R Walter, H; 
1st Lt A Hottewroth, A.


March 1861]
The headquarters of this corps is in East Forty fifth street. They are 780 strong at present, and receiving recruits daily. They do not expect to receive marching orders before the middle of next week as their arms have not yet been received.

The German Turners of this city, Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Jersey City have organized a regiment for the service of the federal government. The full complement of men has been enlisted, and a special messenger was dispatched to Albany last night, with the muster rolls of the companies. As soon as the Governor's acceptance is received, they will be mustered into the service of the United States. The regiment will be under the command of Colonel Francis Sigel. Their uniform will be the regulation uniform of the United States Army. Each company has mustered for drill three times each day, either at the Harmonic Gardens in Essex street or in Tompkins square. The recruits are all of the young and active men who have undergone a regular course of training in all athletic and manly exercises; each man is also thoroughly experienced marksman, rifle shooting forming one of their special objects of study. There are ten full companies enlisted and when the acceptance of the Governor is received they will be ready to leave for the seat of war as soon as their arms and equipment are provided.

Yesterday morning Paymaster J. M.C. Froelich, Paymaster of the Twentieth regiment, New York Volunteers, (United Turner Rifles), started for Fortress Monroe in charge of forty recruits, which complete the full maximum number of the regiment. Lieutenant Froelich has been in this city since the departure of the regiment, and to his exertions it is due that this fine In passing the Herald office, the "squad" honored us with three cheers.

RECRUITING FOR THE 20TH TURNER RIFLES By special order of Gen. Butler the force of this regiment is to be augmented by 270 recruits . For this purpose Lieut. Col Weiss, Paymaster Fraehling and Louis Roth of the Turner Rifles, have opened a recruiting station at Turner Hall in Orchard street. Lieut. Col Weiss is authorized to make requisition on Quartermaster Tompkins, U. S. A.; for transportation.

At a meeting of the German Liederkranz, on Thursday evening, Mr. Max Weber, Colonel of the Twentieth regiment, United Turner Rifles, was presented by some members of the above named society with a splendid gilt cartouch and sword belt. The President, Mr. Fred Kapp, accompanied the presentation with a few very appropriate remarks, saying that a twofold responsibility devolves upon the German soldier in the present campaign, for he had to enter not only for the Cause of his adopted country, but also for the honor of the German name, and to show to the world and history that the German ranks among the first champions for liberty. He complimented the Colonel upon his past military career, when fighting for the cause of freedom in Baden, and hoped soon to have occasion to welcome the Colonel returning victorious in the midst of his brave "Turners." Colonel Weber expressed his heartfelt thanks for the token of esteem thus tendered him by his fellow members, and said that while he wished that their expectations would be realized, he would strive to justify the confidence reposed in him. After this some appropriate...ing by the society. Several toasts were...urse of the evening, and Mr. Hugo Wesen-...ting upon the families that our soldiers left...it a duty of every good citizen to care for ... comfort.

This noble regiment, which is composed of German Turners, who are most proverbial in Faderland for their accuracy in bringing down anything at which they point their rifles, had a parade yesterday through the city without arms. They formed opposite Turtle Bay Park in Forty-third street, where they have been quartered since they became embodied, about half past two o'clock, and started about three for the City Hall Park, by the following route: Down Second avenue to Fortieth street, through Third avenue to Twenty-second street, through Twenty-second street to Sixth avenue, on to Twenty-first street, up Twenty-first street to Broadway and down Broadway to the City Hall, where a large concourse of people had assembled to see them. All along the route the Rifles were encouraged in the most flattering manner. More than the usual quorum of the German element was observed along the streets where the soldiers passed with firm tread and martial mein, and soft voices, which once rang musical along the gorgeous Rhine, were heard singing out their appreciation of their countrymen. Broadway, always effervescing cauldron of public excitement, bore an appearance which to a looker on at a distance, would undoubtedly appear gay and fascinating but not to one commingling with the crowd of uniformed and ununiformed humanity who kept surging on in great excitement, crushing crinolines in all of citizens and demolishing the corns of fastidious gentlemen with tight patent leathers. On arriving in the park the Rifles broke into column, and wheeled out into Tyron row amid the plaudits of those who witnessed their admirable movements. They then took their departure for Turtle Bay Park via the Third and Second avenues. It is due to the Twentieth regiment of German Rifles to say that they are as staunch and compact a body of men as ever your reporter saw. Their appearance is decidedly soldier-like, and their manoeuvres show that they are anything but tyros in military discipline. Their officers are a body of men who may be said to hold no mean position in point of military science; and, on the whole, we are confident that the Stars and Stripes will suffer no unrequited indignity in their presence.

This afternoon the Twentieth regiment (United Turner Rifles), Colonel Max Weber, will parade, being fully uniformed, to let the public have a view of their equipment, and endeavor to receive their firearms. The orders issued for that purpose designate the hour of starting from their headquarters at the Turtle Bay brewery, in Forty-fifth street, at one o'clock. The line of march will be down Third avenue to Fourteenth street, thence to Broadway, down Broadway to and around the City Hall, by Chatham street and Bowery, back to the rendezvous. The regimental roll is full, the uniform of dark blue jackets and pants showing the men off to advantage, and all they need is the firelock and their knapsacks to be in marching order. They will probably leave this city the latter part of this week.

The departure of the Twentieth regiment, German Turners, Col. Max Weber, which took place yesterday afternoon, was one of the most imposing displays we have ever witnessed. Young Germany was in raptures over the affair, and turned out in immense strength to pay its respects to the volunteers. Verily, Max Weber and the men under his command must have felt proud of the ovation, for it was one which came from the hearts of the people, and spoke volumes for the popularity of the Turners. Punctual to the hour announced—three o'clock P.M.—the Twentieth regiment left their quarters, at Turtle Bay Park, and formed in a line on Forty-third street, with the right resting on Second avenue. The men looked remarkably well and their movements showed that they had been subjected to some severe drilling during their stay at Turtle Bay. Their uniforms, which consisted of blue coats, blue pants and gray fatigue caps, presented a very neat appearance while the condition of their arms and equipments denoted a thorough inspection at the hands of some experienced military men. In a physical point of view the Turners would have gladdened the eyes of the Old Hero of Lundy's Lane himself, had he been present. No better material for campaigning purposes could possibly have been selected, and if the Twentieth do not give a good account of themselves in battle we are much mistaken. After a short review the order to march was given, and the troops passed down Second avenue to Twentieth street, through Twentieth street to Broadway, where the civic and military escort, numbering two thousand persons perhaps, was waiting in readiness to accompany the Turners to the place of embarkation. All along the route the troops were received in the most enthusiastic manner by the German population, and at Union square, especially, the scene was strikingly impressive. The escort, which represented almost every German society in the city, had several bands engaged for the occasion, and during the march some splendid pieces of music were discoursed. Broadway was completely jammed during the passage of the regiment, and although the police labored with commendable zeal, it was impossible to keep the crowd from embracing the soldiers as they marched along. At last the head of the procession reached the City Hall, and passed into the Park by the western entrance, in the following order:
Three platoons of citizens, twenty abreast.
Schuizen Gilder, accompanied by an excellent band.
Colonia Sangerbund.
Allermania Mannechor.
Union Hill Hook and Ladder Company, of Hoboken.
Turners of Brooklyn and Williamsburg, dressed in white linen coats and black pants.
Williamsburg Turner Verein.
New York Turners.
Deputations from the Social Reform Gesang Verein, Fidelia, Mozart, Arion, Helvetia Dramatic Club, New Yorker Rifle Corps, and Turners from Bloomingdale, Hoboken and Harlem.
Police, one platoon, twenty abreast.
Duysing Zouaves, Captain Wiess, attached to Colonel Von Gilso's De Kalb regiment; three platoons, marching twenty-four abreast.
Three platoons of infantry of the De Kalb regiment.
Band of the Twentieth regiment proceeded by an excellent drum corps.
Staff officers of the twentieth regiment.
The Twentieth regiment, German Turners, commanded by Colonel Max Weber.
The baggage wagon and hospital tents.
The procession halted in the large area in front of the City Hall, in order that the ceremony of presenting the regiment with a stand of colors might be gone through with. The presentation of the different flags occupied about an hour, but the assemblage, which must have numbered fifteen thousand persons, was deeply interested from first to last. The addresses of the donors, especially those of Miss Sophia L. Beizel and Mrs. Rupp touched the hearts of the brave soldiers, and at every allusion to the Stars and Stripes and the recollections of der Faderland, their emotion was plainly visible. The ceremonies were commenced by the presentation of an elegant American flag by Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles, on behalf of Mrs. Charles Edward Strong. Mr. Ruggles spoke as follows:
Colonel Weber, of the Twentieth Regiment, New York State Volunteers, and officers and soldiers of your Command:
In behalf of Mrs. Charles Edward Strong, and other patriotic ladies of the city of New York, I present you this gift of a national flag for your regiment, which they commit with undoubting faith to your brave and loyal keeping. To whom could they more properly entrust it than to you, the lineal descendants of the Germans of those past ages who, amid the verdant forests and sparkling waters of the fatherland, bravely battled for liberty and freedom against the cruel domination of imperious slaveholding and all-enslaving Rome? Gallant Germans! Friends and brethren we hail you as fellow countrymen and coequal heirs of our nation's destiny. The land of poetry, song and science, the birth place of Schiller and Mozart and Kepler, has given you to us to share our fortunes and our fate. This goodly western continent is not less yours than ours; upon its broad and teeming bosom we stand or fall together. Side by side we now battle for our nations' life. For this very purpose it was that you sought this western world. You came here, that you of the present generation might enjoy that long deferred but dearly cherished object of every German heart - a comprehensive and united nationality. You left your native land, dismembered and disintegrated by long centuries of strife, that you might here breath, in freedom, the invigorating air of one great, united, indivisible republic. You left without regret the rival and contending Hapsburghs and Hohenzollerns, that you and your descendents, through coming ages might inhabit and enjoy the land of Washington; that you might lawfully inherit and peacefully occupy the one Nobel Germans, will you now permit this goodly heritage to be rudely torn from you? Will you abandon without a struggle this, your magnificent domain, your chosen land of petty principalities, can you now consent to dash down and demolish this majestic republic -- a dominant Power among the nations of the earth—to set up in its place four and thirty rebel "sovereignties," falsely so called, all in a row? Thanks to the excellence of your German schools, you are men of education. Have you not been taught, and do you not instinctively know, that men in these modern days must live in nations, and can no longer live in tribes. But what is the present treasonable attempt, alike wicked and weak, but an attempt to restore the ancient rule of chieftains and tribes-- to substitute the rattlesnake for the eagle — to hold aloft, not the immortal ensign of the republic, radiant with its stars, but local emblems, suited only for Chickasaws and Choctaws, the aboriginal and veritable inventors of "State Sovereignty?" Intelligent and patriotic Germans, you now go bravely forth to arrest this suicidal work of madness and ruin. Trebly armed with the justice of the cause, you march to battle to uphold the priceless boon of national existence -- vital not alone to us, the natives, of the soil, but to the hundreds of thousands of loyal German hearts thickly congregated in all our cities, and already counted by millions between two great oceans. From this, our city and State, you go forth to prevent dismemberment, not alone from the misguided South, but from all your brethren of the German race clustered around our widespread Western waters - to preserve the national unity, not only of this great republic, but of your race itself. In this flag as a symbol, you carry with you the affectionate regards, the fervent prayers of the men and women of New York, invoking in your behalf the gracious protection of that All Wise Being, the great architect of nations, to uphold and reward your bravery, patriotism and public virtue.
Colonel Weber did not reply to the address of Mr. Ruggles, and as the time was short, he said that after receiving all the flags he would reply to the donors in one address. At the conclusion of the address of Mr. Ruggles, Miss Rupp stepped forward, and in a voice choked with emotion, addressed Colonel Weber in German in substance as follows: Brave warriors "Bahn frei." (clear the road) is the motto that graces the standard I have the honor to present you in the name of several of your German friends. Let this motto always be your guide. Clear the way of all traitors and rebels that wish to obstruct one of the most liberal institutions with which God ever blessed a country. Carry it triumphantly in your ranks and bring it back with you, even if it should be rent in a thousand shreds. Your past career as warriors for right and liberty is an indication of the valorous deeds which I am confident you will accomplish. You take with you the blessings of fathers and mothers, the love of wives and sisters, and the well wishes of brothers. Your cause is just, and the eyes of the entire world look to you to sustain the great fame of brave men in this present conflict.
Miss Rupp was loudly applauded. The banner is made of heavy crimson silk. In the center is embroidered in yellow silk the motto "Bahn Frei" and on the edges an imitation of oak leaves embroidered in green silk. The embroidery was done by Mrs. Klein. Miss Ottilla Steps, a beautiful young lady, then stepped forward and presented a third banner to the Colonel, which was the German flag of red, black and gold. Her address was delivered with an accent and pathos, which moved all the spectators, and tears were freely shed by the listeners. She also spoke in German as follows:
Colonel Weber of the Turner Rifles — The earnest moment has arrived, when you, beloved Turner brothers, do not parade on a festive occasion. No, you are marching to a conflict of arms - in the holy defence of a beloved, free fatherland—for the hearth of home, the German woman, the German virgin stands with tears in her eyes, and looks with pain after those dear departing ones. Then she quickly dries her tears, and says with a high consciousness - Holy is the heart , yet holier the liberty and the right. Thus march on - defend right and liberty, and if it is destined that we should meet again, then, loved brothers, shall our joy be without bounds. Yet one symbol - a memento of those who have remained behind - must be handed to you in this earnest moment. Into your hand, respected Colonel, I proffer this memento of the remaining Turner sisters. You are the leader of this regiment, yet withal the father of our brothers. We wish that you return those by others crowned with victory, then will the whole family bless your remembrance. Those colors are the old German colors, high and holy are their significance - a German heart, German courage and German trust. Once more I request you, at our parting, do honor to your flag on behalf of your sisters, as German Turners. The colors of the old homestead inspire love and veneration for the new one - for black, red and green are the colors that proudly are beheld by German eyes - black, red and gold are the colors for which the German heart swells. The black denotes death to traitors - that boldly nails treachery to the cross. The red is blood of Germans, that always flows for right and truth. The gold is the blessing of liberty, when heros have fulfilled their duty - fresh, joyous and free all ways -- farewell. Good fortune attend you, and rid the way of all traitors. (Rapturous applause)
The staff of this banner was surmounted with a garland of oak leaves. On a silver plate fastened to the walnut staff appeared the following inscription: "The Twentieth Regiment Sophie, Biesel, Ottilla Steps and Eureka Biesel." 
Captain Vance of the firm of Mitchell, Vance and Co., then presented a costly American flag to the Colonel which he said he did on behalf of the firm of which he was a member.
Colonel Weber, having received the four standards, stepped upon the platform and feelingly responded. It was plain that his emotions almost overpowered him, he being naturally a modest man. In the German language he addressed the lady and gentlemen donors with a few impressive remarks in which he said: As Colonel of the Twentieth regiment he received their kind presents with thanks. The colors of the fatherland should always remind him of those of his adopted country, and the glorious Stars and Stripes of the United States would be a stimulus in leading the men to deeds of bravery and victory. He further pledged himself not to return until every star, some of which had been ruthlessly torn from the field of the flag of our Union, should again be placed in the constellation of the glorious confederacy which he and his followers had adopted as their future and only home. What he promises for himself he would pledge for those he commanded; and it was with confidence and with pride that he utters the feelings of those comprising the Twentieth regiment.
Adjutant Kluckhuher made an apology to Mr. Ruggles and Mrs. Strong, also Captain Vance, on behalf of the colonel in not addressing them in the English language, as he was not proficient enough in that tongue to make an address.
The procession was then again formed, the vast civic escort filing past the regiment out of the east gate of the Park, after which the regiment followed. The line of march was from the City Hall, through Chatham street to the Bowery, through the Bowery to Canal street, down Canal to Varick, down Varick to North Moore street and on to the pier. On either side of the street from Greenwich to the river, the escort had drawn up in line, through which the regiment passed, amid the wildest enthusiasm of the multitude; in fact all along the route the Turner Rifles received a perfect ovation.
Never before has a regiment left this city under more favorable circumstance as this corps; and no other regiment has departed from the Empire city of which more was expected than of the Twentieth. This is the pride of the Germans (not disparaging the others), for the Turners have labored under great difficulties in perfecting their organization as a Turn-Verein. They left with the blessings of thousands of patriots and the prayers of the well wishers of the Union. At half-past seven they embarked on board the steam transport Alabama, Captain Schenck, which hauled into the stream at a late hour and came to anchor. The steamer will leave this morning.
The German ladies have acted nobly towards this regiment, especially Miss Steps. By her exertions in collecting funds from her friends, she has supplied them with the following articles, viz: 704 shirts, 704 pairs socks, 279 pairs of drawers, 480 towels. 103 flannel belts, 880 havelocks, 70 bed sheets for the wounded, four dozen combs and brushes, and an entire camp apothecary, surgical instruments, pin and needle cushions, and hundreds of little et-ceteras, which only woman's care knows how to provide.
The following is a list of the officers of the regiment:
Field and Staff Officers—Colonel, Max Weber; Lieutenant Colonel, Francis Weiss; Major, Engleberth Schnepf; Adjutant, Rudolph Kluckhuher; Quartermaster, Julius Dingelstedt; Commissary, George Minch; Surgeon, Julius Hausen; Assistant Surgeon, Charles Heiland; Sergeant Major, Henry E Walter; Assistant Quartermaster, Charles ..orch; Drum Major, William Kaufman; Bugle Major, Paul Gruchlin.
Company A—Captain, Lorenz Meyer; First Lieutenant, William Kuecht; Ensign, Herrman Stoeckel.
Company B—Captain, Anthony Bracklin; First Lieutenant, Franz Munich; Ensign, Fritz Letzeiser.
Company C--Captain, Charles Hechleituer; First Lieutenant Otto Hoym; Ensign, Gustav Lorenz.
Company D—Captain, J. W. Einbigler; First Lieutenant, William Drackers; Ensign, Conturier Charles.
Company E-- Captain, Ernst Otto Beret; First Lieutenant, Henry Kicker; Ensign, Charles Volker.
Company F--Captain, Charles Femsey; First Lieutenant, Herman Benecke; Ensign, Rudolph Beutler.
Company G--Captain, William Schoen; First Lieutenant William Spring; Ensign, Jacob Pabst.
Company H--Captain, William Von Doeha; First Lieutenant William Schul; Ensign, Robert Merkle.
Company I--Captain, Henry Stumpf; First Lieutenant, Adolph Wilson; Ensign, George Koenig.
Company K--Captain, Joseph Hoeffling; First Lieutenant, William Hafner; Ensign, Louis Kroeck.

Our German Volunteers—A Vindication. A member of the Twentieth New York volunteer regiment, composed of German Turners enlisted in this city, under Colonel Max Weber, writes under date of Harrison Landing, Va., where the regiment is now stationed, contradicting the statements recently published concerning its reputed conduct at the battle of Fair Oaks Swamp, wherein it was said that the Germans retreated in cowardly confusion, were rallied by cavalry with drawn swords, and driven to General McClellan's headquarters. The writer says:
" I suppose you have read the N. Y. and the description of our run. I can tell you I have never read more falsehoods put together in so few lines. They seem to have been made up out of pure malice to our regiment. The facts are simply these: We were encamped on a hill together with Mott's battery. As we had laid there several hours, we commenced to cook our coffee, and make ourselves easy. Suddenly a perfect shower of shell and shot fell upon us, apparently from all directions. Mott's battery had seventeen men and forty horses killed in a few minutes, and was so disabled that it was compelled to fall back. As we were unable to see the foe, and as he fired with such fearful accuracy it would have been pure madness to expose ourselves any longer.
" We put on our knapsacks, took our guns and ran into the woods about two hundred yards, when we formed again, and from there marched off in perfect order. We have never been in the so-called battle of Fair Oaks Swamp. This was fought a great distance from us, and of course it is false that we ran off for a few miles, and afterwards were driven together by cavalry and brought to General McClellan's headquarters.' Our Colonel was at the time of the shelling under arrest, and has since been compelled to resign. It is true we have very bad officers, and nearly all of them will have to leave, which will be a great benefit to us; but the future will prove that the Twentieth regiment will always be worthy of the name it earned at Hatteras and at Newport News. We will stand our ground as well as any other regiment, notwithstanding what newspaper reporters may write about us."