Johann "John" Schlarb Johann "John" Schlarb  ‎(I6205)‎
Given Names: Johann
Nickname: John
Surname: Schlarb

Gender: MaleMale

Birth: about 1830 Germany
Death: 2 February 1868 ‎(Age 38)‎ St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, USA
Personal Facts and Details
Birth about 1830 Germany

Marriage Louisa Biermann - 16 March 1864 ‎(Age 34)‎ Syracuse, Onondaga, New York, USA

Death 2 February 1868 ‎(Age 38)‎ St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, USA

St. Louis Arsenal

Cause of death: Self inflicted gunshot wound
Last Change 4 September 2005 - 21:00:19 - by: jkoenig
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Immediate Family  (1690)
Louisa Biermann
1833 - 1894


We think, based on his military records, that Johann was born in Germany about 1830. We have a copy of his naturalization as an American citizen dated Feb. 23, 1859 making him about 30 years old. Since it took seven years between his application to become a citizen and his actual naturalization, we can guess that he came to this country in about 1852. This process was speeded up to five years for men intending to join the Army as he did on April 15, 1861. Many Germans were Coming tothis country around this time due to a failed revolution in Germany.

On March 16, 1864, Johann married Louise Biermann in Syracuse, New York. Since his two daughters, Lucy and Dora were eight and six years old at the time, we assume Johann had a previous wife. Lucy's death certificate lists her mothers name as Louise Hartman. The Civil War was in full swing at this time so it would be logical that Louise Hartman died around this time and Johann was granted emergency leave to arrange care for his daughters.

Johann was mustered into the 1st Missouri Volunteers for a three month term and was then attached to the 3rd Missouri Volunteers under the command of General Franz Siegl, also a German fleeing the German Revolution. This outfit was almost exclusively German immigrants. For many, the only English phrase they could speak was "I fights mit Seigl".

According to Dr. Wolfgang Hockbruck, professor of American Studies at the University of Stuttgart, "The Third was a hard fighting regiment that was in all campaigns in the West from St. Louis and Sigel's Southwest expedition through Pea Ridge and Curtis's campaign in Arkansas, in all battles around Vicksburg and all through the Atlanta campaign. The company was mustered out by company in the fall of 1864. The original "Fahnenwacht" had been all German; when the regiment was reorganized for three year service in the fall of 1861, it was amalgamated with the 19th, and four Irish-American companies joined the existing six German Companies."

We also have evidence that Johann served for a time in the Navy, in 1862, on the ironclad gunboat Benton, which sailed and fought up and down the Mississippi River.

On April 11, 1865, Johann was mustered out of the Army having attained the rank of Sargent and was discharged honorably. Johann returned to Madison County, New York to be with his family. On January 20, 1866, his son Henry David Schlarb was born.

On July 26, 1866, Johann re-enlisted in the Army and was sent back to Missouri to the St. Louis Arsenal to serve with Company C, 1st Missouri Sappers and Miners Infantry.

The terms sappers and miners came from 18th Century military engineering terms. They describe one who made saps and mines, a sap being an entrenchment used to advance towards enemy lines and a mine was a shaft built under an enemy's earthworks in which explosives would be placed. The men who were sappers and miners were much like the combat engineers of the modern day Army.

The Corps of Sappers and Miners were raised by a General Order issued on August 2, 1779 by George Washington. They were an elite corps, under the direction of the Corps of Engineers, whose job it was to prepare defenses and attack and break through enemy defenses. They were the first troops into the British lines at Yorktown.

Since Johann had been out of the Army more than a year, when he re-enlisted, it was as a private. Records show that he was briefly promoted to Sargent but demoted back to private. These records also show that he was admitted to the hospital several times with "intermittent fever". On February 2, 1868, Johann died of a self inflicted gun shot wound at approximately age 38.

According to Dr. Hockbruck, "There is evidence that there was a high percentage of suicide cases of what was then called "nostalgia" - what we would call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome - and of alcohol and drug abuse, in short, the same kind ofreaction soldiers apparently have shown after every war; symptoms that tell us that, yes, all war is hell.

Whether Johann suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or perhaps saw himself as an invalid and a burden to his family, we'll never know. These few facts of his life show that he had a life much harder than any of us now living can even imagine, but served his new country well and served his family as best he could considering the context of the times. Since, at the time, suicide was considered a great shame to the family, it seems that information about him has vanished.

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Close Relatives
Family with Louisa Biermann
Johann "John" Schlarb ‎(I6205)‎
Birth about 1830 Germany
Death 2 February 1868 ‎(Age 38)‎ St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, USA
3 years
Louisa Biermann ‎(I6206)‎
Birth 1833 England
Death 12 June 1894 ‎(Age 61)‎ , Crawford, Wisconsin, USA

Marriage: 16 March 1864 -- Syracuse, Onondaga, New York, USA