W. KUTLER, of Appleton Wis., member of G. A. R. Post, Geo. D. Eggleston
No. 133 was born March 28, 1838 in Zeigeliada Ouerfurt, Prussia. In 1852
he came to America with his parents, and arrived in Milwaukee August 11th.
He remained in the Cream City three years and learned the business of a
baker in all its details. He continued to follow it for a vocation until
he became a soldier. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 26th Wisconsin
Infantry at Racine for three years. At the formation of his company he
was made Corporal. July 2, 1865, he received honorable discharge at Washington,
D. C. the war being at an end.
With the exception of a single company the 26th Wisconsin was composed of Germans. It was recruited in about two weeks and was one of the strongest and most distinguished of the Wisconsin regiments. It was mustered into service September 17 1862, and went to Washington in October making connection with the 11th Army Corps under Major General Sigel. The command was soon after involved in all the difficulties experienced through the fall and early winter in the toilsome marching to which the Army of the Potomac was subjected, preparing for the fruitless operations on the Rappahannock. March was passed in preparations again for active warfare and about the last of April the movement preceding the battle of Chancellorsville commenced. The 26th went into that disastrous action to suffer as did no other save one, the 119th New York. Mr. Kutler was wounded in his right hip by a minie ball and, soon after, was taken prisoner by the rebels. He remained in the hands of the confederates 15 days, attended by Union surgeons who remained with the captured prisoners. At the end of that time General Hooker recovered them under flag of truce and, after being paroled by the rebels, Mr. Kutler found himself once more among Union soldiers. They were conveyed to the held hospital in the ambulances which were sent for them and which were located near Stafford C. H. They remained at Stafford C. H. a month and were transferred to Harvey hospital at Washington. Mr. Kutler stayed there a month and then went across the Long Bridge to the Convalescent Camp near Alexandria. When sufficiently recovered, he was transferred to Company I, 24th Veteran Reserve Corps. He was placed with a special detail under Colonel McAlvery and was with him for a year. At the expiration of that time he went with the Reserve Corps to Washington and was detailed fur guard duty, in which he was subjected to arduous service in guarding rebel and other prisoners, doing duty every other day. At the time of Early's raid in 1864 he was on duty, and experienced a sunstroke which rendered him helpless for a week. After the rebel marauder had betaken himself back to his own holdings, Mr. Kutler returned to barrack duty. During the last four months he passed the time on guard at the south end of Long Bridge where he and the entire detail contracted the fever and ague, the land being low and swampy and the atmosphere poisoned with the malaria from the Potomac marshes. The company were still there when the United States troops crossed Long Bridge on their way to the Grand Review. The Wisconsin 26th, his old regiment, passed over while he was there on guard. After being discharged he returned to Racine.
In 1869 he went to Appleton where he has since pursued his business as a baker. His father, Frederick W. Kutler, was a soldier in his native country, conscripted according to the law which controls every German male child. In 1848 he was in the Reserve but was afterwards sent to active duty in which he served two years before the expiration of his time. It is probable that about the time of our war a large number of Germans brought their growing sons to this country to escape the inevitable conscription, and it is a curious fact that large numbers of the German soldiers who volunteered for the Union service were those who rebelled against a compulsory military career in their own country.
Soldier's and Citizen's Album of Biographical Records, Grand Army Publishing Co. 1888 (Wisconsin Edition) pg. 690, 691