Captain Charles Saalmann


        Charles (Carl) Saalmann was born April 25, 1836, in Breckerfield, Germany. He married Emilie Schulte on June 21, 1860, in Westfalen, Germany. The couple immigrated to America, possibly in the Philadelphia vicinity. On August 9, 1861, Saalmann enrolled as a Private in the 75th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was composed of German-American soldiers, and was organized by Heinrich Bohlen, a Philadelphia merchant. Saalmann was promoted to Second Lieutenant on August 21, 1861. After training at Camp Worth, in West Philadelphia, the 75th spent the winter of 1861-1862 encamped in the defenses of Washington. In early April 1862, tragedy struck when a barge, used to ferry the regiment across the Shenandoah River, overturned. Fifty three men perished.
        The 75th Pennsylvania participated in the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic. On August 14, 1862, Saalmann was promoted to First Lieutenant, Company D. Saalmann participated in the Battle of Groveton, on August 29, and the (Second) Battle of Bull Run, on August 30, where his regiment sustained heavy losses. On March 1, 1863, Saalmann was promoted to Captain of Company C. The 75th Pennsylvania participated in the Chancellorsville Campaign. Because the 75th was located on the far right flank, it was one of the first regiments routed in the surprise attack by Stonewall Jackson's men.
        At Gettysburg, the 75th Pennsylvania suffered heavy losses on the afternoon of July 1, 1863, when superior forces near the Carlisle road, west of town overwhelmed it. Colonel Mahler, who commanded the 75th, was mortally wounded. Captain Saalmann was wounded by a musket ball, which passed through his upper left arm. He was evacuated to a field hospital, then transported to train by Philadelphia, where he arrived on July 7. By September 16, Saalmann was able to rejoin the regiment. On September 25,1863, the 75th Pennsylvania was sent to Bridgeport, Alabama, by train, where it arrived on October 2.
        Saalmann participated in several battles near Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was again wounded during the night battle of October 29, 1863, near Wauhatch, Tennessee. In early 1864, Saalmann was detached from the 75th Pennsylvania, and became Acting Commissary of Sustenance for the Third Brigade of the First Division of the Twentieth Corps. Colonel James S. Robinson commanded the Third Brigade. The Third Brigade participated in the Atlanta Campaign, where it was involved in the battles of: Resaca, Pumpkin Vine Creek, and Kennesaw Mountain. Following the siege and occupation of Atlanta, Saalmann accompanied the brigade on General Sherman's march to Savannah. The brigade then marched northward in the Campaign of the Carolinas, participating in battles at Averysboro and Bentonville, North Carolina.
        Saalmann was discharged from the Army on May 28, 1865. After the war, Saalmann settled in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, where he purchased a farm. He never completely regained the use of his left arm, which was partially disabled from the wound received at Gettysburg. Charles Saalmann died on January 2, 1915, survived by his wife and children.

Biography by Charlie Boning, Boning. Charles@leg.state.fl.us