Private Henry Fink, Company B


Henry Fink, collector of internal revenue for the First district Wisconsin, and a veteran of Company B, Twenty-sixth Wisconsin infantry, now a resident of Milwaukee, Wis., was born on Sept. 7, 1840, in Bavaria, Germany., He is a son of John Engelhart and Catherine (Dielmann) who, when the subject of this sketch was twelve years old, removed with their family and personal property to the United States, locating on a farm in the town of Oak Creek, Milwaukee county, Wisconsin. The father lived on the farm until his death, which occurred Jan. 8, 1880; the mother died while her son was serving as a soldier, on Feb. 9, 1864. The subject of this sketch the second of seven children in the family, the others in the order of birth being Mary, Engelhart, Jacob, Simon, Helena and Louise. Engelhart and Helena are deceased, the former having lost his life in the battle of the Wilderness, in which he was a participant as a member of the Fifth Wisconsin infantry. Henry Fink, after his arrival in this country, was occupied on a farm when he had reached the age of twenty. He then obtained a position as a clerk in a store in Milwaukee, continuing in that work until 17, 1862, when, at the very height of the war excitement in the Cream City, he enlisted as a private in Company B of the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin infantry. On Oct. 5 following, the regiment left the state for the scene of action, going direct to Fairfax Court House, where it became a part of the Second brigade, Third division, Eleventh army corps, and with it participated in the expedition to Thoroughfare Gap, New Baltimore and Warrenton. The winter was spent in camp at Stafford Court House, and in the spring the regiment was one of those "stuck in the mud" with Burnside. On April 27, the Eleventh corps, under Maj.-Gen. O. O. Howard, left Stafford Court House in the start of the Chancellorsville campaign. The crossing of the Rappahannock was made at Kelly's Ford, and on May 1 the corps took position on the right of the Federal line. In the terrible onslaught of "Stonewall" Jackson's corps on Howard's command, before which the Union line wavered and then fell back, Mr. Fink was wounded, a musket ball piercing his right arm and rendering it useless. He was taken to the field hospital at Falmouth, where the injured member was attended to, and later was sent to the Judiciary square hospital in Washington. On June 26 he was transferred to Fort Schuyler, N. Y., and in November to David's Island, where he remained until removed to the Harvey hospital in Madison, Wis., on Jan. 7. 1864. In the following March he was mustered into the Invalid corps, and remained there until his discharge on May 10, 1864. Upon his release from military service Mr. Fink returned to Milwaukee and for three years was a traveling salesman. In 1867 he embarked in business on his own account, becoming a dealer in wool, bides and furs. This occupied his time until 1878, when he sold his interests and engaged in the land business. He is also financially interested in the Wilkin Manufacturing company, makers of machinery. Politically he is an enthusiastic and zealous Republican, and as such served four years on the county board of supervisors, from 1870 to 1874, and in 1876-77 served in the state legislature. In the latter year he was appointed United States marshal, and continued in that office through the administration of Hayes, Garfield and Arthur, his service expiring on May 10, 1885. On June 13, 1889, he was made collector of internal revenue for the First district of Wisconsin, and is still the incumbent of that office. Mr. Fink is actively identified with the E. B. Wolcott Post No. I, Grand Army of the Republic. He has been twice married. On May 13, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Streiff, of Milwaukee, and to this union were born three children: Albert, Edward and Emma. Mrs. Fink died on Jan. 6, 1883, and on Sept. 12, 1883, Mr. Fink married Miss Rosa Blankenhorn, a native of Cedarburg, Wis.

Memoirs of Milwaukee County Vol2, 1909 pg. 33-34 (ARC) F 587 .M6 W33 v.2 Milwaukee Archive UWM