German Indiana Regt. Monument To be Preserved
By Michael A. Peake
Plans are being made to preserve the deteriorating
1st German, 32nd Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry Monument
at Cave Hill National Cemetery.
Created by Company Private August Bloedner to
commemorate his comrades killed in action at Rowlett's Station,
Ky., in December 1861, the memorial was placed at Munfordville
in mid-January 1862.
In compliance with directives to recover all Union
dead for reburial in National Cemeteries, 14 sets of remains
along with the monument were removed to Cave Hill in June 1867,
where the stone, designed to be laid flat, was mounted upright
on a memorial base.
One preservation option suggests that two granite
replicas be made, one to replace the existing stone at Louisville
and the other to be placed at the original site of internment,
Fort Willich at Munfordville.
The Bloedner memorial would be moved to Munfordville
and placed inside the new Hart County Historical Society Museum.
A historic marker or interpretation panel is also proposed for
the Cave Hill burial site to provide a translation of the German
The Hazen Brigade Monument at Stones River National
Battlefield in Tennessee has popularly been accepted as the
first Civil War memorial in the country, having been placed
there soon after the end of that battle in January 1863. Kentucky
may now claim that distinction for the 32nd Indiana Monument.
Since the Indiana German memorial is no longer
at its original site, Stones River Park Ranger Jim Lewis says
that the National Park Service will continue to interpret the
Hazen Monument as the oldest, intact monument in the country.
Lewis also stated that an earlier monument was erected after
the First Battle of Manassas in Virginia but, unfortunately,
did not survive.
The manager of the Kentucky Military History Museum
at Frankfort, John M. Trowbridge, researching at Cincinnati,
Ohio, learned that August Bloedner was born around 1825 in Altenburg,
Saxony, Germany. It is unclear when he arrived in the United
States, but he settled in the Cincinnati area where he married
Henrietta Behnke on March 3, 1856.
Bloedner worked as a carpenter until his enlistment
in the 32nd Indiana in August 1861. After his return to Cincinnati,
Bloedner worked as a marble/stone cutter until his death from
heart disease on Nov. 14, 1872.
Trowbridge is trying to locate the Cincinnati
area grave of Bloedner. He is also researching Bloedner's German
history prior to immigrating to America and would appreciate
any assistance in uncovering this information as well as the
location of the grave.
Louisville author and researcher Joseph Reinhart
recently discovered and translated a German newspaper article
in the Taglicher Louisville Anziger of May 31, 1871, that describes
the Cave Hill Monument, provides the known inscription on the
stone and verifies that August Bloedner of Cincinnati was the
In addition, Reinhart's translation of the article
revealed information on those men killed that had not been included
in other translations. The names of all but one of the dead,
along with their dates and places of birth, have seldom been
included in modern works. This is one of very few newspaper
accounts that accurately list those men killed along with providing
their genealogical information.
Another inscription on the stone never before
deciphered states that the men were removed from Fort Willich,
Munfordville, Ky., and reburied at Cave Hill on June 6, 1867.
Several individuals and organizations are focusing
their attention to preserving this important symbol of American
heritage. Most funds to preserve the 32nd Indiana Monument will
ultimately come from the private sector and the Kentucky Civil
War Sites Association will accept donations for that purpose.
For information contact Manager John M. Trowbridge,
The Kentucky Military History Museum, 100 West Broadway Frankfort,
KY 40601-1931; (502) 564-3265; e-mail: email@example.com
Donations may be sent to: Kentucky Civil War Sites
Association Attn: Tom Fugate, Civil War Sites Manager, P.O.
Box 1042, Frankfort, KY 40601-1042; (502) 564-7005, ext. 126;