Brevet Major Eugene Frederick Weigel, 82nd IL Infy USV
(1845 Germany-1896 MO)
Original Member of the Missouri Commandery of MOLLUS
MO Commandery of MOLLUS, Circular No.154, 01May1897
Original Photo from the MO Commandery of MOLLUS Photograph collection
Located at the Missouri State Historical Society Library and Archives, St. Louis, MO
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Herman Tuerk was born September 20, 1842 in Bostock, Germany.
Eugene Frederick Weigel was born June 15, 1845, in Kirchheim, Boland, in the Palatinate, Germany. He was brought to America in 1848, and obtained his education in the public schools of the City of St. Louis, being graduated by the High School in June, 1861, after the beginning of the war of the rebellion.
At the age of sixteen years he enlisted as a Pvt. in Co.C 3rd USRC MO Infy fo three years, and was transferred to Co.A 4th MO Infy USV in the Spring of 1862, after active service in central and southwestern Missouri. He was discharged in August, 1862, to receive a promotion to the position of Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 82nd IL Infy USV, commanded by Colonel Hecker, and was promoted again on AUgust 3, 1863, to the position of Captain of Co.F of that regiment, and served as such and as Captain of Co.I until after the close of the war in June, 1865. On June 25, 1866, be was brevetted Major USV, to rank from March 13, 1865.
He participated in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and received a severe contusion at the latter place. He was thereafter appointed Acting Assistant Adjutant General of the 3rd Division, 11th Army Corps, and as such took part in the battles of Wauhatchie, TN Missionary Ridge, and the relief of General Burnside at Knoxville. As captain, commanding Co.I, 82nd IL Infy USV, he took part in the Atlanta campaign, and thereafter in all the engagements of the 20th Army Corps until November 11, 1864. He marched to the sea and through the Carolinas with General Sherman's Army until the capitulation of the enemy. He was discharged from the service when barely twenty years of age, after having faithfully and brilliantly served his country during nearly four years of intercenic war, winning and holding high and responsible positions during nearly three years of that time, rarely given to one so young.
His career as a civilian was equally remarkable and creditable. In 1870, when only twenty-five years of age, he was elected Secretary of the State of Missouri, and held that office for four years until his party's defeat. Notwithstanding the extreme bitterness and heat of the partisan contest which ensued at the close of his term of office, not the slightest criticism of his services fell to the lot of our Companion. The newly created office of Park Commissioner of the City of St. Louis was tendered him in 1877, and he held the same for ten years under three administrations; and his thorough and artistic work laid the foundation for the present beauty of our parks and is a lasting monument to his memory. In 1890, as United States Supervisor of the census of St. Louis, he displayed his excellent ability in the satisfactory performance of that onerous and difficult task; and thereafter he was again called upon to serve the government, in the Department of the Interior, in assiting in the solution of the intricate questions involved in the opening of Oklahoma Territory to settlement.
Brevet Major Eugene Frederick Weigel, 82nd IL Infy USV was elected a Companion the MO Commandery, Insignia #4277. It will not be deemed amiss to also mention that his faithful and painstaking ability was recognized and appreciated by his comrades in the Grand Army of the Republic, as shown by the facts that he was elected Commander of the Frank P. Blair Post #1, and chosen Adjutant General to the Commander-in-Chief for the year 1888-1889.
Eugene died on October 23, 1896 in St. Louis, MO at the home of his niece Mrs. Atlanta Hecker, and the Commandery showed its appreciation of the deceased by the attendance of a large number of the Companions at the cremation of his remains.
The influences surrounding Maj. Weigel prior to his enlistment, apart from the patriotism of his father's family, were largely unfavorable to the Union cause; despite these surroundings he volunteered to serve his adopted country. HIs remarkable devotion to every public duty was singularly manifested near the close of his life. When on his death bed, less than a month before his demise, a new registration law having gone into affect which made it the duty of every voter to again register, he had himself carried to the registration office and registered anew in order that he might be able to cast his vote at the important presidential election which took place in November of 1896.
He was a genial and steadfast friend. His companionship was sought because of the "sunshine" in his composition. His career as a youthful and enthusiastic patriot will serve as a model for future generations to emulate when the country again calls for defenders.
1) MO Commandery of MOLLUS, Circular No.154, 01May1897
2) Membership Records of the MO Commandery of MOLLUS
Copyright (c) 2000 Douglas Niermeyer, MO Commandery of the MOLLUS