June 17, 2019 – West Bend, WI – There was an intimate ceremony Monday, June 17, 2019, as veterans, friends and family members gathered at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery on Chestnut Street to pay respect to Civil War veterans from the community.
Jen Fechter is with a group called “Remembering Our Civil War Veterans.”
“Our mission is to put monuments, like the one we’re dedicating today, in all the cemeteries in Washington County where Civil War veterans are buried,” she said. “Our mission is to honor those that served in the Civil War and make sure their legacy is always remembered through these monuments. It goes a long way to preserving the history in the community.”
The monument is sponsored by VFW Post 1393 Auxiliary.
The memorial honors veterans that served in the Civil War 1861-1865 and who are buried at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery. Names on the grey, granite monument include Henry Bannenberg, John Huebner, John Kahnt, Martin Lampert, John H.W. Peters, Friederich Roennbeck, Rudolph Roennbeck, Moritz Tschoepe, and Gottlieb Zeiher.
Tom Brown, commander of Alonzo H. Cushing Camp No. 5 in Saukville, provided some history on the monument.
“To VFW Post Auxiliary and the City of West Bend in the name of the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War, representing as we do all the soldiers and sailors who defended the integrity and authority of the nation, thank you and those whom you represent, for this monument.
This monument assures us that dead are held in remembrance – those who served for the security of the citizen and union of states. It is significant of brave and loyal obedience to the command of the nation always and everywhere, since the obligations of citizenship are not restricted to time or place, or to the conflict of arms. It gives encouragement for the future, since the recognition and approval it gives of patriotic fidelity and heroism, will be an incentive for display of public valor and virtue in all coming time.
There can be no doubt that the honor we pay to these patriotic dead, and to their memorable deeds will serve not only to make American citizenship in these days more reputable, but also to maintain and perpetuate, through all future generations, the union and authority of the United States of America.”
The family of John H. W. Peters was well represented at the ceremony. Glenn Peters spoke extensively about his great grandfather. “He never talked much about the war,” said Peters.
Private William Peters served in the 34th Regiment; he was on the Union side in Company K. The 34th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry organized in Madison, WI in December 1862. It moved to Columbus, Ky., Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 1863. Attached to District of Columbus, Ky., 6th Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to August 1863. (Six companies attached to 4th Brigade, District of Memphis, Tenn., 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, May to August).
In service the 34th Regiment moved to Wisconsin August 16 and mustered out Sept. 8, 1863. Regiment lost during service one officer and 18 Enlisted men by disease for a total of 19.
There are several Civil War Memorials in Washington County.