Happy 186th, Great Great Grandfather Gardner!


Wilhelm Gotthardt Gaertner

On 10 March 1833, Wilhelm Gotthardt Gaertner, was born to Alexander Gaertner and Christina Regina Bauer in Klein Ingersheim, Württemberg.  Grandpa Gardner as he was known to his family, lived a very interesting life.

Wilhelm Gardner came from Northern Germany (born in the Kingdom of Württemberg). He drew straws with his brothers and his was to come to the United States in 1853. Some records show five sons, and, in those days, one inherited his father’s farm or business, one went into the ministry, and, surely, one was sent to the U.S., and, perhaps, the other two were apprenticed to a family minus a son.

Wilhelm landed in Connecticut — in time to volunteer for the Civil War. It was around the time of his enlistment that he chose to become William G. Gardner.  All of his children were given the surname of Gardner.

He was at Vicksburgh as he brought home a newspaper printed on wallpaper. Due to being surrounded by “yellow bellied Yankees”, Vicksburgh ran out of newsprint, so used wallpaper as a substitute for the newsprint. The issue of the paper says, among other things, kittens and mules were good to eat; do not steal from your neighbors as they are as poor as you are; and told of the marriage of a European Count just a day or so prior to the fall of Vicksburgh. This newspaper was in the possession of Wilhelm’s granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Griste Brooke.

After the Civil War, Wilhelm (by now, William) earned his living as a tailor.

Letter from Helen Gardner Quarles to Florence Koontz Weaver, 27 Jan 1937:

Aunt Nell copied this from an old book on the History of Ligonier

William G Gardner, merchant tailor, born in Württemberg [ A. Nell thought Stuttgart, the History didn’t say] Germany – Mar 10 1833 is youngest of five children and only one to come to this country. His parents, Alexander and Regene Gardner lived and died in Germany. WG went to New York City and then later went to Newton, NJ — in 6 months returned to NY City and then went to Burlington, VT and returned to NY City and then after an extended trip throughout the western states and Canada and returned to NY and then to CT where he stayed until 1862. In that year he enlisted in Co. F – 19th Conn. Volunteer infantry and served until July 17, 1865 and returned to Connecticut. He received 2 wounds while in the Army. He went to Ligonier in 1877. Employed by Jacob Straus & Co as cutter and fitter in their clothing establishment. Went into business in 1879 and was very prosperous and employed 5 -7 workmen. W. G. Gardner married July 3, 1860 to Louisa Kohlor in Connecticut.  She was born in Germany 1842. She died May 18, 1861. He married January 1, 1862, Mary Ann Cummings – a native of Connecticut. She was born February 25, 1838 [Aunt Nell said she thought MAC Gardner died February 28, 1888]. Son of first wife – W. F. Gardner – May 6, 1861. Children of second wife: Phebie Ann -Oct 19, 1862 [my great grandmother]; Sophia J; Nellie M; Carrie – Oct 15, 1881.

W. G. Gardner was a mason – owned property in Ligonier, was a popular citizen as well as an honorable businessman. [A. Nell said she saw this book was published 1882]

W. G. Gardner married Mary McConnell;  The marriage ended in divorce.

W. G. Gardner married #4 Jennie Boyd.

He died Feb 5, 1913 — would have been 80 on March 10, 1913. Mary Ann Cummings Gardner was 51 years old and that would have made her die in 1889 instead of 1888 as A Nell thought. A. Nell said Grandma Cummings name was Currie. Grandpa Gardner (W.G.G.) lived in Ligonier 2 years before sending for his family.
From the Declaration for Original Pension dated 4 May 1876, Falls Village, CT:

That he volunteered at Falls Village in the State of Connecticut on or about the 7th day of August 1862 for a term of 3 years and was honorably discharged at New Haven on the 15th day of July 1865.

That while in said service, in the line of duty, at Winchester in the State of Virginia on or about the 19th day of September 1862 he received a gunshot wound in the right arm and was injured by a shell in the breast at Petersburg, Virginia April 2, 1865 both wounds having occurred in action. The injury to the breast was a contusion by the bursting of a shell immediately over the heart, causing inflamation of the lungs and great and permanent soreness or pain at or near the heart and the organs connected therewith.

From the Civil War Documents:

Name:William G Gardner
Residence:Canaan, Connecticut
Enlistment Date:8 Aug 1862
Rank at enlistment:Private
State Served:Connecticut
Was Wounded?:Yes
Survived the War?:Yes Service Record:
Enlisted in Company F, Connecticut 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment on 11 Sep 1862.
Promoted to Full Private.
Promoted to Full Corporal on 26 Aug 1863.
Mustered out on 07 Jul 1865.
Sources:Connecticut: Record of Service of Men during War of Rebellion
REGIMENT: 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment Connecticut Date of Organization: 23 Nov 1863 Muster Date: 18 Aug 1865 Regiment State: Connecticut Regiment Type: Heavy Artillery Regiment Number: 2nd Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 12 Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 2 Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 242 Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 171.


THE Litchfield County Regiment, designated the Nineteenth
Infantry, was projected in mass convention at Litchfield, July
22, 1862, in response to the appeal of Governor Buckingham,
which followed President Lincoln’s call (July 1st) for 300,000
volunteers for three years.

August 24th, there had reported, at “Camp Dutton,”
Litchfield, nine companies, containing 815 men, and Major
Elisha S. Kellogg of the First Artillery, who had been
commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel, began the task of molding the
mass into an efficient military organization, and of inspiring
in each member thereof “a knightly courage like his own.”

Colonel L. W. Wessells attended to the details of
organization, and on August 31st formed the tenth company (K),
by sending to it such men as the commandants of the other nine
might designate.

September 10th, Mrs. William Curtis Noyes presented a
beautiful stand of colors to the regiment. On the 11th it was
formally mustered into the service of the United States, and on
the 15th it proceeded by rail to Washington, D. C., and to
Alexandria, Va., where it was equipped with “A” tents and
Enfield rifles. It was assigned to duty under General J. P.
Slough, “military governor of Alexandria,” encamping just
outside the city, and relieved the Thirty-third Massachusetts
in the disagreeable task of patrolling the city. This service
soon began to tell on the health of the regiment. Colonel
Wessells himself became seriously ill, as well as other
officers and a large number of the enlisted men; sixteen deaths
occurring from disease in a single month.

January 12, 1863, brought, through the persistent
solicitation of Colonel Kellogg for relief from this unwelcome
service, an assignment to duty under General Robert O. Tyler,
in the “military defenses of Alexandria,” and change of
location to Fort Worth, near Fairfax Seminary. This soon
resulted in improving the health of the regiment.

May 12, 1863, its companies were distributed for garrison
duty in Fort Ellsworth, Redoubts A, B, C, and D, and the Water
Battery on the Potomac, below Alexandria.

September 16th, Colonel Wessells (his health proving to be
permanently impaired) tendered his resignation, and, October
23d, Lieutenant-Colonel Kellogg was promoted to the colonelcy.

November 23d, its organization was changed, by order of
the War Department, to artillery, and recruiting to that
standard was authorized.

November 30th, Lieutenants Marsh, Knight, and Hosford were
ordered to Connecticut on recruiting service, and Captain
Williams, with Lieutenants Coe and Candee, to the draft
rendezvous at New Haven for the same purpose, and, by March 1,
1864, the regiment numbered 1,800 strong. May 17, 1864, it was
ordered to the Army of the Potomac, which it joined near
Fredericksburg May 20th, and was assigned to General Emory
Upton’s (Second) brigade, First Division, Sixth Army Corps.
May 22d, it crossed the North Anna River, and while on the
skirmish line lost its first man, killed by a rebel bullet.
May 24th to 30th, it was occupied in destroying the railroads
at various points, and making one of the hardest marches of its
entire service. May 30th, it was on picket near Tolopotomy
Creek, and, May 31st, near Cold Harbor, losing two men killed
and five wounded.

June 1st, under command of Colonel Kellogg, the regiment
was disposed in three lines, under Majors Hubbard, Rice, and
Ells, and advanced in that order, the objective point being the
heavy earthworks defended by Longstreet’s veterans. It passed
at double-quick to the first line, capturing it and sending to
the rear over 300 prisoners; forward again at double-quick,
with intervals of less than 100 yards between the battalions,
to and through a stiff abattis, within twenty yards of the
enemy’s main line, where it met a most destructive fire from
both its front and left flank, but pressed on, some even to the
top of the main line of earthworks. Nothing could withstand
the murderous fire that now met them, and the First and Second
battalions crept back to the somewhat less exposed position
held by the Third, but leaving on the field 323 of Litchfield
County’s bravest sons, 129 of them dead or mortally wounded, —
a record unsurpassed by any regiment of the Union army during
the war. Among these were that ideal soldier, Colonel E. S.
Kellogg, who fell riddled with bullets in the advance with the
First battalion, Captain Luman Wadhams, who was mortally, and
Major Ells, who was severely, wounded.

We are not allowed space in which to chronicle individual
acts of bravery and devotion to duty, but cannot pass to record
other scenes without saying that the fortunate survivors of
this terrible conflict remember with loving pride the last
words and acts of such comrades as Corporal Baldwin of Company
E (reported “missing,” but certainly killed in action), and the
cool, quiet, but quick and sensible decisions of Kellogg,
Hubbard, Ells, Skinner, Fenn, Wadhams, Berry, Burnham, Hosford,
Spencer, and other officers, and the unrecorded bravery of very
many of our fellow-soldiers.

This advanced position was “stubbornly held” (vice Upton),
and on the 3d another advance was made, the regiment being
under fire continuously until the 12th.

June 6th, Captain R. S. Mackenzie, of the Engineer Corps,
took command of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Hubbard
declining promotion.

June 16th, embarked on James River, disembarking (17th)
near Bermuda Hundred. 19th, crossed the Appomattox, and
relieved Hinds’s colored brigade, in rifle-pits in front of
Petersburg, at night relieving our Eleventh Connecticut
regiment, in a still more advanced position, with many silent
evidences of the bravery of that regiment around us.

June 20th and 21st, made cautious and slight advances.

June 22d, had a lively affair with Hill’s Division, losing
ten killed and nine wounded, but gaining a position that was
held by the Union army as the advance line until the close of
the war. July 9th, marched through stifling dust, “knee deep,”
to City Point, embarking on steamboats, disembarking July 12th
at Washington, marching to Tenallytown, arriving in time to
hear the last of the firing and to engage in the chase of
Early; forded the Potomac at Edward’s Ferry July 16th; crossed
the Blue Ridge at Snicker’s Gap 17th; forded the Shenandoah
20th, and camped near Berryville. At midnight commenced the
return march, reaching Tenallytown 23d, remaining long enough
for the issue of much-needed clothing.

July 25th, crossed Aqueduct Bridge to Fort Corcoran,
relieving an Ohio regiment of one-hundred-days’ men.

July 26th, recrossed the Potomac, under orders to rejoin
the Sixth Corps, which had been turned back to repel another of
Early’s attempted invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Joined the corps 27th; crossed the Potomac at Harper’s
Ferry 29th; was occupied in continual skirmishing up and down
the valley until September 11th, when Early was forced to near
Cedar Creek, and the First Division camped near Clifton.

September 19th, was called into action to check the enemy,
who had broken our lines near Winchester.

General Sheridan’s report tells the story, as follows: “At
Winchester for a moment the contest was uncertain, but the
gallant attack of General Upton’s Brigade (Second Connecticut
Artillery, Sixty-fifth and One Hundred and Twenty-first New
York, and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania) restored the line of
battle until the turning column of Crook and Merritt and
Averill’s divisions of cavalry sent the enemy whirling through
Winchester.” The regiment lost here 14 officers and 122
enlisted men, killed and wounded, among them Major Rice and
Lieutenants Candee, Hubbard, and Cogswell killed, Captain Berry
and Lieutenant McCabe mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Fyler
crippled for life by a wound in the leg. Colonel Mackenzie and
Major Skinner were among the less seriously wounded.

September 22d, the corps was advanced directly up the
seemingly impassable face of Fisher’s Hill, arriving at the
summit just as the Eighth Corps, by a brilliant move, was
enabled to strike the right flank of an otherwise impregnable
position, and the enemy was driven in the utmost confusion, the
Second Artillery losing only four killed and nineteen wounded.

September 25th, at Harrisonburg, the command was again
faced toward the Potomac, with orders to destroy everything
which, if left behind, could give aid or comfort to the enemy.
Ashby’s Gap was reached October 13th. Here, Sheridan, learning
of Early’s presence in the valley again, once more headed his
own army up the valley, encamping (October 14th) near Cedar
Creek, where, early on the 19th, it was surprised and driven
back about three miles. About 4 P. M., a new line was
established, and the enemy driven to and beyond our camp of the
previous day, again scattering Early’s army. This day the
regiment lost thirty-eight killed and ninety-six wounded.
Captain Hosford was killed early in the morning, and Captain
Fenn and Lieutenant Gregory each lost an arm,–severe losses
for the regiment, which had learned to rely on the quiet self-
possession and unflinching bravery of these officers.

Lieutenant Henry Skinner, with about forty men of
Companies E and L, was on picket and captured, and was not
released until about the time of Lee’s surrender.

November 9th, camped at Kearnstown. December 2d, moved
(by rail) to Washington, and by boat to City Point, thence over
“Grant’s railroad” to Parke Station, to comfortable winter
quarters, where the First Division passed the winter doing
picket duty, with an occasional unexplained movement to the
right or left, and recruiting for active operations in the

December 28th, Colonel Mackenzie was promoted Brigadier-
General, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hubbard advanced to the
colonelcy January 7, 1865.

February 5th, participated in an affair at Hatcher’s Run,
passing the day massed ready for a charge, in a drizzling,
freezing rain, with shots from the artillery of both armies
passing over us; in action for a short time about dusk,
returning to the winter quarters February 8th, the only
casualties in the regiment being nine men wounded.

March 29th, moved to the right to Fort Steadman, which our
troops recaptured just as the Sixth Corps came up; thence to
the left, and advanced toward Petersburg, in front of Fort
Fisher. The brigade passed a line of rifle-pits, capturing the
occupants, and advanced to a position found to be untenable (no
support appearing), and was faced about and returned to the
line occupied by the other troops. This movement cost the
Second Artillery seven killed and thirteen wounded.

About midnight, April 1st, the brigade formed in front of
the breastworks during the heaviest cannonading it had ever
witnessed, and at dawn, April 2d, charged over the rebel works
and into their camps, which were deserted as our line
approached, the only casualties in the regiment being
Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner and seven enlisted men wounded.

The brigade was here ordered to report to Major-General
Parke, commanding the Ninth Corps, and marched to the right to
Fort Hell, thence by a covered way to the rebel works, captured
earlier in the day by the Ninth Corps. April 3d the brigade
advanced (the Second Artillery leading), entering the city of
Petersburg, where Colonel Hubbard was made provost-marshal,
only to be relieved a few hours later, when the brigade was
ordered to rejoin the Sixth Corps, which it did April 4th,
following the fleeing Confederate “Army of Virginia” closely on
the 5th, and on the 6th of April, 1865, having its last fight
(at Little Sailors’ Creek), a sharp, short action, the Second
Artillery losing three killed and seven wounded, capturing one
battle-flag, the headquarters’ train of General Mahone’s
division, and a great number of prisoners.

April 7th, bivouacked near Farmville; 8th, near New Store;
and 9th, near Clover Hill, where General Hamblin (who commanded
the brigade) announced the news of Lee’s surrender.

April 23d, while camped at Burkeville, the corps was
ordered to proceed to Danville, prepared to operate with
General Sherman against General Johnston’s army in North
Carolina. This march of 105 miles was accomplished in a little
less than five days, the corps arriving at Danville April 27th,
there learning of Johnston’s surrender.

May 2d, the regiment, with the exception of Companies F,
G, and K, was detailed as guard to the wagon train on the
return march to Burkeville, where it arrived May 6th, remaining
until the 18th, when the corps moved (the Second Artillery by
rail) to Manchester, opposite Richmond.

May 24th, marched through Richmond, and arrived at
Fredericksburg May 29th, thence to Bailey’s Cross Roads (June
1st), where it remained until the 8th. Here the regiment
received the addition to its members of the “new men” of the
Fourteenth Connecticut, the original members of that
organization having been mustered out.

June 8th, took part in a grand review in Washington.

June 16th, was assigned to the Third Brigade, Hardin’s
Division, Twenty-Second Army Corps, and ordered to garrison
eleven forts on the north side of the Potomac.

June 27th, was transferred to Forts Ethan Allen, Marcy,
Albany, and Battery Martin Scott, on the south side of the

July 7th, the remaining members of the original Nineteenth
Regiment were mustered out, and left for home.

July 20th, the twelve companies were consolidated to eight
(I, K, L, and M ceasing to exist), and August 18, 1865, these
eight companies were mustered out at Fort Ethan Allen,
receiving final discharges at New Haven September 5, 1865.


Spottsylvania, Va., May 22-24, 1864.
Tolopotomy, Va., May 28, 1864.
Hanover Court House, Va., May 30, 1864.
Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864.
Cold Harbor, Va., June 2-12, 1864.
Petersburg, Va., June 20-26, 1864.
Winchester, Va., Sep. 19, 1864.
Fisher’s Hill, Va., Sep. 22, 1864.
Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864.
Hatcher’s Run, Va., Feb. 6, 1865.
Petersburg, Va., March 25, 1865.
Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865.
Little Sailors’ Creek, Va., April 6, 1865.

The Elkhart Truth, Feb 5, 1913, p 5

Civil War Veteran Dies of Heart Attack

William G. Gardner of Harrison Street Succumbs to Affliction Contracted While Shoveling Snow Monday

William G.Gardner, nearly 80 years old, a resident of Elkhart eight years and a member of the Congregational Church, died at his home, 317 Harrison Street, at 12:20 o’clock this morning of heart disease with which he was stricken Monday morning while shoveling snow.

Mr. Gardner was born in Weurtenberg, Germany, March 10, 1833. He came to America when a young man. For more than thirty years he was a merchant tailor at Ligonier, Ind. He was married to Mrs. Margaret Boyd in this city, April 12, 1905, and since his marriage has resided here.

The deceased was a Civil War veteran having enlisted in Co. F., Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery Volunteers under Captain Hubbard C. Vuttler. He enlisted August 7, 1862, and served until July 7, 1865. During the war he was injured twice.

The deceased was a member of G.A.R. post at Ligonier. He also belonged to the Odd Fellows and Maccabee lodges at Ligonier and was a demit Mason.

Besides his wife he is survived by on son, W. F. Gardner, Wardner, Idaho; three daughters. Mrs. Phoebe Koontz, Columbus, O; Mrs. Nellie Haller, Ligonier, Ind,; Mrs. Carrie Golden, Walla Walla, Wash.; two stepdaughters. Mrs. Payson Schwin, Elkhart, and Mrs. Oliver Roberts, Oakville, California.

Funeral services have not been definitely arranged but probably wkk be held Sunday a the home. Rev Ogilvie of the Congregational Church officiating. Interment will be made at Ligonier.

Grandpa Gardner made one return trip to Germany in 1905 – I have found his passport application as well as the passenger lists for this round trip.  From his passport, I was able to determine the exact date, port, and ship of his arrival in the U.S. when he arrived as a single 20 year old coming to a new country to make a new life for himself.

About Pat Shaul

Genealogist / Family Historian; Blog started as a record of my Grandfather's post card collection which ran for 15 months. Then, in June, 2017, I changed over to reporting and commenting on notifications from the ANCESTRY app "We're Related" I then started to provide snippets into ancestor biographies on the dates that were significant anniversaries.
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