The Last Soldier Project: Manitowoc County, Wis.
Carl Rieck

The following information was transcribed from Carl Rieck's newspaper obituary:

Carl Rieck, Veteran Of Civil War, Dies In Town Centerville

Carl Rieck, 89-year-old Civil War veteran who lived on a farm in the town of Centerville 15 miles south of Manitowoc, near Highway 141, died at 3 a.m. today. Mr. Rieck, widely known for his exceptional ability as a musician, a clarinet maker, and a great story teller, lived with his daughter, Miss Emma Rieck, on their 11 acre farm.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. from the home. The Rev. Martin A. Braun, pastor of SS John and Peter Lutheran Church will officiate and burial will be made in the Saxon cemetery.

Up until just recently, despite his age, his mind was still very active. He also delighted in playing his favorite instrument, the clarinet.

His life was an exceptionally interesting one. He was only 15 years of age when he joined the Union Army and the tale of how he managed is filled with exciting episodes.

During his life time he was a farmer, a carpenter, coal miner, lumberman, and a hotel and tavern keeper.

Through the many years which followed Mr. Rieck's return from the battlefields of the Civil War, he was a widely known musician who played in bands and orchestras both in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and in addition to playing he also made his own instruments.

Up until a short time before his death, he delighted in telling of his experiences during the war. He was stationed at various times in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. During the rebellion he served with the Ninth Wisconsin regiment.

Mr. Rieck was born October 25, 1846, in Brandenburg, Germany. In 1851 he accompanied his father, Ludwig, together with other members of the family to the United States. They came immediately to the town of Meeme where they settled on a farm.

Miss Hermina Zill became his wife in 1871; and after buying a farm near Centerville he learned to play the clarinet.

For 20 years he was a member of Wildgrube's band and orchestra of Manitowoc, but later he organized a family orchestra which included his son, Louis, who died when only 18 years old, and his daughter, Emma, with whom he had lived.

Mrs. Rieck died nine years ago, and of their five children, only Emma survives.

Mr. Rieck never belonged to the G.A.R., but was always interested in the organization. Although only 15 years old at the time of the war, he wanted to join the army. Recruiting officers, however, told him that he was too young.

Mr. Rieck says that he was lonely at home with all of his friends gone to war so he decided to join anyway. He says he went to Manitowoc where companies of the 27th Wisconsin Regiment were embarking for Milwaukee. Here he sneaked aboard one of the boats after the officers had turned a deaf ear to his pleadings.

In Milwaukee he happened across a recruiting officer from the Ninth Wisconsin Regiment already on duty along the Mississippi River. That regiment needed replacements, and he was sent by this recruiting officer to Madison where he went through several medical tests and was finally accepted.

Mr. Rieck was sent into the south and was detailed to the commissary department of his regiment. He served for nearly three years with the northern armies, and after his discharge he returned to Centerville. Later he was employed in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and for a time he worked in the lumber mills at Menominee, Michigan. After that he returned to Centerville and became a carpenter, and he also operated a saloon in the town of Centerville which was known as the German House.


Funeral services for Carl Rieck, 89 year-old Civil War Veteran, the last veteran of that war in Manitowoc County, who lived on a farm in the town of Centerville, fifteen miles south of Manitowoc near Highway 141, and died at 3 a.m., Thursday, will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. from the home. The Rev. Martin A. Braun, pastor of the SS. John and Peter Lutheran Church, will officiate, and burial will be made in the Saxon Cemetery.

(Carl Rieck served with Co. E & A, 9th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry from 19 September 1861 to 30 May 1865)

From: Sheboygan Press, Thursday, 30 April 1936, Pg. 14
Sheboygan Press, Friday, 1 May 1936, Pg. 6
Ms. Janet Eiler
Wisconsin Roster of Volunteers, War of the Rebellion

Researched by Bro. Vince Barker

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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin


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