Pvt. Frederick Theodore Puggé
2nd Regiment U.S. Reserved Corps Infantry Missouri
CO. D - Capt. Hainey's 1st U.S. Battalion
According to family research, Frederick was born in Siessen, Germany, July 4, 1819. I have no information of his life before 1848.
The story thus begins when Frederick Puggé leaves Le Havre, France September 10, 1848 with the Third Advance Guard of Icarians.
The Icarians were a group of people looking for Utopia, promised by their leader, Etienne Cabét, a Frenchman and lawyer with failing eyesight. Cabét had written a book, “Voyage en Icarie,” which tells of a fictional Lord Carisdall and his four-month visit to the imaginary, mysterious Island of Icaria. The French people tired of oppression, tyranny and wishing to seek a better life, sent Cabét letters, gifts, seeds, money and jewelry in response to what was being called “Icarianism.”
Frederick and 22 other Icarians boarded the ship, “Victoria” to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America. They arrived in New Orleans on November 24, 1848. Cabét arrived in New Orleans on January 18, 1849. Almost 500 followers of Cabét came to America, arriving tired, hungry, disillusioned and many regretting their decision to come to America. Approximately, 200 returned to France to start legal proceeding to sue Cabét for fraud.
Cabét found his First Advance Guard had traveled to the Promised Land on the Red River Valley in Texas, only to find out the Peter’s Real Estate Company had swindled them. The First Advance, having been made up of artisans unprepared for pioneer life returned to New Orleans. Four had died, one struck by lightening the doctor having gone insane. Instead of breaking the prairie, they had only broken their plow. Then Cabét heard of the Illinois town Nauvoo, which had been abandoned by the Mormons. Ready-made homes that could be purchased for back taxes.
March 1, 1849, Cabét and his 280 followers boarded the “Marshall Ney” steamboat to begin their trip up the Mississippi. March 9th they arrived in Saint Louis, where they stayed two days before boarding the steamboat, “The American Eagle”.
Edwin P. Hollister, a guest at the Virginia Hotel, wrote his cousin, William M. Black on March 11, 1849 regarding the event. “I went down to the “Marshall Ney” this morning to witness a rather novel sight viz --some 300 French people, just from La Belle France. They were under the guidance of Mons Cabét (pronounced Coo pã) an author of considerable celebrity of the Fouriente School, and are on their way to Fort Madison intending to colonize there. The men looked a little on the Dutch order--with a broad physiognomy--the females generally small--well formed and the merry look--so commonly attributed to the French nation. The company consist of mainly mechanics and looks very well indeed considering the unfavorable position they occupy (on the main deck) for cleanliness or comfort.”
On March 20, 1849, the newspaper, “The Quincy Whig”, published this story regarding the arrival of Icarians. “The officers of the “Marshall Ney” and the “America Eagle” are of the opinion that they are the most orderly, cleanly, and industrious emigrants they have ever met.” The article concluded, “We bid them welcome to the land of the free and the home of brave.”
The Icarians arrived in Nauvoo, March 15, 1849, finding the blackened walls of the Mormon‘s Great Temple, looming up like Egyptian ruins. Many of the remaining stones were used to make additional homes for the group.
In 1850 the Federal Population Census states 276 “Frenchmen” living in Nauvoo. Many of these so-called “Frenchmen” were natives of Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Holland. Frederick is listed as being 29 years old, single and a “joiner” or carpenter.
Cabét had to return to France in July 1851 to vindicate himself of charges of fraud though the misuse of Icarian funds. He was acquitted and returned to Nauvoo in July 1852.
After Cabét’s urging, on July 30, 1852, 75 men traveled to Carthage, the county seat of Hancock County and applied for citizenship. On July 31, 1852, Frederick traveled to Carthage with 35 other men, applying for citizenship. Frederick received his naturalization papers in October 1854. Eventually, 217 Icarian men had applied for naturalization papers.
Pierre Hypolite and Caroline Roiné with six of their children leave France and come to New Orleans in October 1854 where they proceed to Nauvoo. Pierre’s story will be found elsewhere in this book.
Pierre and Caroline’s daughter, Aimeé Flavié Roiné married Frederick Theodore Puggé on Sunday, April 22, 1855. The Icarians were considered to be prosperous and happy, quiet and industrious. Their musical and theatrical performances were regarded as assets, attracting many visitors to Nauvoo. Living “happily ever after” never seems to happen and the group split into the majority and the minority.
Cabet brought his followers to St. Louis, Missouri on November 6, 1856, dying within days. The group tried to stay together and bought property at “Cheltenham” an area located near present Highway 44 and Hampton Avenue near the River Des Peres.
Aimeé gave birth to a daughter, Caroline Mary on January 31, 1860. She was often listed as “Lena” in the census. A son, Theodore Hypolite was born, January 8, 1862.
Frederick enlisted as a Private, April 27, 1864 in Saint Louis with the 2nd Regiment United States Reserve Corps Infantry. He was in Captain Hainey’s 1st U.S. Battalion, Company D. Records are vague since he enrolled in E.M.M. (Enrolled Military Militia) which apparently were never federalized and records only remain in Missouri’s State Capital at Jefferson City. Also enlisting were his father-in-law, Pierre Hypolite Roiné and his brother-in-law, Hypolite Roiné, though it is not known at what times.
The 2nd Regiment reorganized at St. Louis August 23 to September 20, 1861 and was attached to District of St. Louis to October 1861. The 4th Division, Army of the Southwest, to May 1862. 2nd Division, Army of the Mississippi, to June 1862. The 5th Division, Army of the Mississippi, to August.
SERVICE--Campaign in Missouri October 1861 to February 1862. Guard railroad beyond Rolla, Mo. till May 1862. Ordered to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee May 6. Siege of Corinth, Mississippi May 22-30. Duty at Corinth Mississippi until August. Ordered to St. Louis, Mo. August 12, 1862. Regiment lost during service -1 Enlisted man killed and 9 Enlisted men by disease.
The Puggé family is listed in the 1870 Census in Saint Louis, Missouri and their son, Theodore, eight years old is also listed in Fulton, Missouri. Further research shows Theodore attending the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Fulton.
The 1880 Census shows the Puggés living in DeSoto, Jefferson County, Missouri. Their daughter, Caroline married Otto August Hamman on December 14, 1881 and continued to live in Jefferson County.
Aimeé Flavié Puggé died September 6, 1897 and was buried in Dripping Springs Cemetery with a marker. Her birth date is stated as July 4, 1835.
Frederick died June 8, 1908 and is buried in Dripping Springs Cemetery with no marker.