An Immigrant Story
Over the course of four decades until his death in 1866, Henry Schaumann was a laborer, artisan, mechanic, and house wright. He knew life as a husband, father, and citizen at different times in two countries. He was born in Hildesheim, Germany, and spent time at Clauen, near Peine, a small village not far from Hildesheim. He left his native country in the Kingdom of Hanover, to become part of the melting pot of immigrant America. Facing a difficult and uncertain future in war-torn Germany, Henry could not have known that the perils of war in Germany would reappear in his life in the form of the American Civil War. Henry joined tens of thousands of his fellow citizens as they made their way to the ports of Europe in a new wave of migration. The traditions and values they carried with them helped to shape the history of 19th Century America.
Part 1 of this book is about the life and times of Henry Schaumann and his Civil War experience, ending in his premature death in the St. Louis cholera epidemic of 1866. The story unfolds through the life of his wife Margarethe Ficke, a German immigrant facing the difficult life of widowhood. She married four times, surviving three of her four husbands. Anytime you think you are having a bad day, read the story of Margarethe Dorothea Ficke
Part 2 is an annotated chronology of Henry Schaumann's Civil War Pension Case. It includes transcribed documents produced by both Henry and his widow Margarethe in her decades-long struggle with the U.S. government to claim a widow's Civil War pension.
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