Pvt. Franz Joseph Zepf
MO Vol Inf, Co. C, 4th Reg
U.S.R.C. Mo Inf, Co. A, 2nd Reg
Franz (Teobald) Joseph Zepf was born in Donaueshingen, Baden, Germany on October 11, 1828. His father and uncle were in the employ of the Prince of Furstenberg. In 1848, Franz completed his formal education in the local iron workers guild.
1848 was the time of political unreast and revolution in Germany. Franz was given permission to immigrate to the United States. He was discharged from the German Army and given 3 days to depart....in case of his return to Germany, he would have to continue the interrupted military service. The information is on record in the Baden Generallandes Archiv-Karlsruhe. He departed for America on January 1, 1853; he was a political refugee from the 1848 Revolution.
The 48'ers were "freethinkers". they upheld the separation of church and state. They also opposed slavery and mob violence.
Franz was a member of "Die Schwarzen Jaeger" of Schutzen-Turnverein of St. Louis. The 4th Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers was comprised of men from this society. The regiment took part in the capture of Camp Jackson. They also protected Cairo, Illinois, Birds Point, and guarded the Pacific Railroad. The regiment was mustered out on July 30, 1861.
Franz enlisted in the 2nd Regiment of the U.S. Reserve Corps. Missouri Volunteers, Company A on August 26, 1861, to serve 3 years. He was honorably discharged September 3, 1862 at Benton Barracks, Missouri by special orders. He had contracted acute pneumonia while serving as a soldier at Staton Station of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railrod. He died in St. Louis, Missouri on November 19, 1863 as a result of the pnuemonia; he had to be carried to the hospital.
My great-grandmother was a widow for 37 years, raising two children.
The story of Franz Zepf's life is bitterweet. He left persecution and revolt in Germany to come to America. He dies as a result of serving in the Union Army in the Civil War.