FREDERIC C. WINKLER was born in Bremen, Germany, the
15th of March, 1838. His parents emigrated to the United States when he
was six years of age, and located in Milwaukee, where his father, Carl-Winkler,
established a pharmacy and starch factory.
Educated in the public and private schools of that day in Milwaukee, and under private tuition of Prof. Engelmann (q.v.), Mr. Winkler taught a common school, before reaching his eighteenth year, and immediately afterward commenced the study of law in the office of Hon. H. L. Palmer, where (teaching school in the winter months) he remained a student until the fall of 1858, when he entered the office of Messrs. Abbott, Gregory and Pinney, at Madison, as clerk. While here he was, on the 19th of April, 1859, admitted to the bar in the circuit court of Dane county after a thorough examination in open court, under a rule then recently established by Judge Dixon. Shortly after this he returned to Milwaukee, and entered on the practice of his profession. He met at once with considerable success. His first partnership was with Mr. G. Von Deutsch, who, on account of ill health and a trip to Europe, left a large share of the work of the office to him, so that he was brought into court practice more rapidly than is generally the case.
From 1856, Mr. Winkler's sympathies had been strongly enlisted for the anti-slavery principles of the republican party, and in 1860 he took an active part in the canvass of Milwaukee county in favor of Lincoln and Hamlin. Immediately after the breaking out of the war his partner entered the cavalry service, leaving the business to him. In 1862, when the appeal for more men became urgent, Mr. Winkler gave up his business and recruited a company of infantry -- Company B, of the 26h Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, of which he was appointed captain. The regiment left the State early in October and was assigned to the Eleventh Corps of the army of the Potomac, then commanded by General Sigel. During the succeeding winter Captain Winkler was constantly employed as judge advocate in courts martial at corps headquarters. At the opening of the spring campaign he was assigned to the staff of General Schurz, commanding a division of the corps. He participated in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, in the former of which he had a horse shot under him. The first day of Gettysburg the regiment lost very heavily, only four officers escaping unhurt, the lieutenant-colonel and major being among the wounded. Captain Winkler resigned his staff service and temporarily took charge of the regiment during the battle. Afterward he remained with the regiment as second in command, still, however, subject to frequent detail for court-martial service. After the battle of Chickamauga the regiment was transferred to the West, as part of General Hooker's forces that were sent to Rosecranz's relief. Shortly afterward the colonel resigned, and Captain Winkler thenceforth commanded the regiment, being successively promoted through the several grades to the colonelcy.
Under his command the regiment participated in the battle of Mission Ridge, in 1863; the Atlanta campaign, with its battles and countless skirmishes, in 1864; the march to the sea, and thence north through the Carolinas. It won a high reputation. Of its conduct in the battle of Peach Tree Creek, July 20, 1864, the following mention is made in the official report of Colonel Wood, the brigade commander:
Where all behaved well, it may be regarded as invidious to call attention to individuals, yet it seems to me that I cannot discharge my whole duty in this report without pointing out for especial commendation the conduct of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry and its brave and able commander The position of this regiment was such that the brunt of the attack fell upon it. The brave, skillful and determinate manner which it met this attack, rolled back the onset. pressed forward in a counter charge, and drove back the enemy, could not be excelled by the troops of this or any other army, and is worthy of the highest commendation and praise. It is to be hoped that such conduct will be held up as an example to others, and will meet its appropriate reward.
During the winter quarters of 1864 Colonel Winkler returned home to recruit for his regiment, and was married to Miss Frances M. Wightman, of West Bend, Wisconsin.
Upon the close of the war he was breveted brigadier-general of volunteers "for meritorious services."
Returning to Milwaukee, be resumed the practice of his profession, soon taking a prominent position at the bar. In 1867 he became associated with the Hon. A. R. R. Butler. In 1872 he was a member of the assembly in the State legislature, and was the same year nominated for congress by the republicans in a largely democratic district.
In the spring of 1875 he was tendered the position of United States attorney for the eastern district of Wisconsin, but declined it on account of his large private practice. He was a member of the firm of Jenkins, Elliott and Winkler, one of the leading law firms of the State.
United States Biography Dictionary and Portait Gallery, Wisconsin Vol. pg 81, 82. American Biographical Publishing Co. 1877
Frederick C. Winkler, of Milwaukee, was appointed Lieutenant Colonel on June 27, 1864, originally from Company B. He became judge advocate general of XI Corps from fall 1862 through July 1863. He was appointed Major November 17, 1863. Fredrick reported to recruiting duty January 1, to Feburary 27, 1864. Then was appointed Colonel August 17, 1864, but was not mustered. He was brevet colonel and Brigadier General U.S. Volinteers June 15, 1865. Frederick Winkler resumed his law practice after the war. He was president of the Milwaukee Public Museum as well as vice president of American Bar Association, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1872, commander of Wisconsin Commandry of the Loyal Legion of the United States, and was a trustee of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. for 32 years. He was a member of E.B. Walcott Post No. 1, G.A.R. Also he was a founding member and member of first executive committee of Twenty-Sixth Regiment Association. He attended the fiftieth anniversary at Gettysburg in 1913. Frederick C. Winkler died in Los Angeles on March 22, 1921. More on Frederick Winkler
(Photo courtesy and second portion by "The Winkler Letters")