Private Frank Kwapil, Company D.


        FRANK KWAPIL, of Ahnapee, Wis., Commander of G. A. R. Post No. 242, (1888) was born August 15, 1839, in Bohemian. He was 16 years old when he came to America and established his place of abode at Racine Wis. He remained in that place until he entered the army, and enlisted at Racine, August 19,1862, in Company D, 26th Wisconsin Infantry. He belonged to the German regiment of Wisconsin which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac under Sigel and during the fall and winter, was engaged in military duty and drill and was stationed at various points until the command went into winter quarters at Stafford Court House. The monotony of the Stay there was varied by the "Mud Campaign". In April the summer campaign began and the regiment marched to take part in the battle of Chancellorsville. The 26th occupied a position on the extreme flank of the army where it received a direct charge and was nearly surrounded while supporting a battery which the rebels were determined to take. A confederate rushed to a cannon a few feet from Mr. Kwapil and shouted "this is my gun." "Not by a - sight", said a brawny German be longing to the battery, and felled the rebel to the ground with a swab. Orders to fall back came just in time to prevent the destruction or capture of the whole regiment. Mr. Kwapil was wounded May 3rd in his right leg and he was taken to the field hospital and sent thence to Carver hospital at Washington where he remained until the last day of March, 1864, when he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps and remained in that connection until he was discharged June 26, 1865. As soon as his wound permitted, he was assigned to the charge of the ward in a hospital and remained in attendance on typhoid fever patients a long time. In the summer of 1884 he was on duty in the vicinity of Washington and, during Early's raid in July, was stationed with a detail of 17 men about 15 miles north of the city. They had been notified that the rebels were retreating and, supposing the trouble was over, most of them were in the woods picking blackberries, when they heard a noise in the direction of the camp and a squad of rebel cavalry was seen charging upon it. The guard in charge of the camp was captured, with one exception. He escaped while the rebel in charge of him was giving his attention to a canteen of whiskey. The men in the woods were unarmed and made all possible haste in the direction of the river and reached Washington in safety. On the night of the assassination of Lincoln, Mr. Kwapil was on picket near Hyattsville, Md., when three men passed his post in the night and he believed them to have been Booth and his party.
        The picket line was watching for large bodies of men and had no countersign and as the party referred to passed through the village there was no suspicion that they should be arrested. Mr. Kwapil was on guard at the prison and during the trial of the conspirators and says "the hanging of Mrs. Surrat was justly deserved." He returned after the war to Racine and in 1866 married Fannie Jenista. Their children are named Frank W., Bozena, Milek, Vojta and Joseph. In 1868, Mr. Kwapil went to Kewaunee county and built a pier for boats six miles north of the village of Kewaunee. Not long after, a post office was established there and called Alaska, after the new acquisition of territory from Russia. Mr. Kwapil thought himself the first to appropriate the new name, but found he was the third in order. In 1878, he located at Ahnapee where he has since operated as a merchant. In 1886 he was appointed postmaster at Ahnapee and is still discharging the duties of the office. See Corrospondence about Frank Kwapil.

Soldier's and Citizen's Album of Biographical Records, Grand Army Publishing Co. 1888 (Wisconsin Edition) pg. 598, 599