This company was organized May 10th, 1861, with Capt. E. Plankey in command, and was mustered into the United States service June 1st, 1861, at Camp Carlisle. The company saw some service before being formally sworn into the service, and was active in whatever demands were made upon it before muster in, resulting in some splendid work. It was sworn for a special trip to Sisterville, where it was understood there were a few pieces of artillery. The steamer Woodside was chartered for the trip, and going down the river landed at midnight, when the company at once proceeded to secure the guns, which were hidden in an old stable. The trip was entirely successful, and the boat returned the next day. Among others who were on the trip, were D. Ritz, Vierheler, Klein, Gretze and Graebe. A part of the company was stationed at Moundsville, for a short time, guarding public and private property.
Upon leaving Wheeling to join the regiment, the company went by the way of the B. & O. R. R. to Clarksburg, where they had a dress parade on July 4th. They then went with two other companies of the regiment to Beverly, by way of Rich mountain, joining the regiment, and were assigned as Company C. This company did its full share of the hard work of the regiment, and established a good reputation for faithful, brave service. They were always ready for duty, and were esteemed highly by all their comrades.
The following is the muster out roll, showing list of members and their record. The company was mustered into the United States service June 1, 1861, and mustered out June 14th, 1864. All the members not otherwise marked, were mustered out with the company. The recruits and veterans were transferred to the Sixth West Virginia Cavalry, when the company was mustered out.
CAPTAIN E. PLANKEY.
Edward Plankey was born in Germany, and came to the United States when but sixteen years old, settling at Wheeling, Va., where he learned the trade of carpenter. He afterwards went to Louisiana, where he enlisted as a private in an infantry company under Capt. C. Walker, which was known as the "Mexican Rangers," and served with great credit in the Mexican war. After the war with Mexico, he returned to Wheeling, and worked at his trade until he enlisted for service in 1861. Before the war he was captain of a rifle company at Wheeling, which enlisted for three years on Lincoln's first call. This company had been ordered by the Governor of Virginia to go to Richmond, but dissolved at once, and then pledged themselves to the national government. Among others in this company, was Wm. F. Graebe. Captain Plankey went with his company into the service, and did his duty faithfully, until failing health compelled him to resign. Returning home he resumed his old trade, which he followed until March 7, 1881, when he was elected superintendent of the County Infirmary of Ohio county, West Va., which position he held until his death, which occurred April 5, 1885, at the age of 67. The captain was a patriotic citizen, a loyal and true soldier, an upright and conscientious man, and was well liked by all who came in contact with him.
August Rolf is a native of Pollier Province, Hanover Prussia, where he first saw the light August 13, 1828. He came to this country and engaged in business in Wheeling, Va., in 1846. He was first lieutenant of the "German Rifles," a company of Virginia state troops, which was ordered to do guard duty at the hanging of John Brown. Lieut. Rolf enlisted in Company C in May, 1861, and was elected first lieutenant of the company. While lying at Camp Carlisle, he was detached with forty of the men of his company, on special duty at Moundsville, rejoining the company at Beverly. He acted adjutant of the regiment for some time, and commanded the company in the absence of Captain Plankey, up to the battle of Bull Run, and took part in every engagement while he was in the service. At the battle of second Bull Run, Lieut. Rolf commanded Company I, and after that commanded Company E until he resigned in September, 1862, at Arlington Heights. His resignation was accepted by General McClellan. After retiring from the army, he was actively engaged in business in Wheeling, but is now retired, retaining an interest in different manufacturing and insurance companies.
Louis Philipp Salterbach, of Hachenbourg, was born on the 14th day of February A. D. 1829, Province Nassau, Kingdom Prussia, Germany. When five years old, he was sent to school to be prepared for college. He entered the same 1839, and was graduated in the year 1843. He continued and finished his educational Wiesbaden, frequenting the Gerverbe trade, Technique and Militaire schools.
On the 23d day of November, 1848, Louis Philipp was mustered in the Second Regiment Nassau Infantry, No. 88, 8th Army Corps. This corps was mobilized in January, 1849, to help Schleswig Holstein against Denmark. In this short and brief campaign he took an active part at the celebrated Battle of Dueppel in April, and at several other engagements. He served in all military branches, with the exception of cavalry, until 1854. He received a leave of absence to visit his father and brother in Patterson, New Jersey, U. S. He applied for his discharge in 1855, and received it, and became a citizen of the U. S. He was in the mercantile business until April, 1861. When President Lincoln called for 75,0000 men, Louis Philipp promptly reported, and enlisted as private in the Second Virginia Regiment Infantry at Wheeling, Va. He carried the colors at Cross Keys, Slaughter Mountain, and other battles, and the last time at Bull Run in 1862. He was mustered out as private and promoted second lieutenant, in November, 1862.
In March, 1863, he was commissioned first lieutenant, and afterwards placed in command of Company H, vice Captain Jos. Bushfield. The regiment was changed to cavalry and numbered as Fifth Regiment West Virginia. Salterbach was in nearly every engagement until mustered out at Wheeling, West Va., in June, 1864. He then went to Washington City, stayed there until November, and in said month, he settled his business as commander of Company H with the U. S. government, in the ordinance and quartermaster departments, and with the receipt from auditor "French" in his pocket, he went back to his home at Wheeling, West Va. He is there yet and doing business as notary, insurance and consular agent. He is a worthy man and deserves well at the hands of his adopted country, to which he gave his best service and ability.
Christian Vierheller was born in Fanerbach, Hessen Darmstadt, near Frankfort on the Main, June 14, 1830. He attended a village school until 1842. At that time his father, Peter Vierheller, concluded to leave his native country, and with his wife and three sons, set sail for America, landing at Baltimore after a long journey. From there they went by the way of Pittsburgh and Wheeling to Monroe county, Ohio, where the family settled on a farm, which was nearly all woods. They began clearing it, but in a short time the father died, and the family was left alone to battle with the world, the subject of this sketch being the oldest of the children, and the only help, but they managed to change the place into a comfortable home. At the age of 19, he went to Wheeling, Va., where he obtained a situation in George Mendel's furniture store, where he remained until shortly before the war, when he engaged in the upholstering business on his own account. About eight years before the begining of hostilities, he was married, and when he enlisted was a member of the State Militia. He entered the service as sergeant in Capt. E. Plankey's Company C, Second Virginia Infantry. In the campaign of Gen. Pope, he was commissioned second lieutenant of the company, which rank he held until he retired from the service. In the winter of 1863, while at Beverly, he fell on the ice while returning from duty to camp, fracturing his left knee. The hurt was so severe that after lying in camp a while, he was advised by the surgeons to resign, which he did April 11th, 1863, not being able for further duty. Since then he has been engaged in farming, and as salesman for furniture stores, his home being now at Wheeling, West Va.
William F. Grabe was born in Germany on the 5th day of April, 1839. His father died when the subject of this sketch was 12 years old, and he came to America when he was 18, locating at Wheeling, Va., where he learned the trade of shoemaker. At the outbreak of the war, he was one of the number that formed Captain Plankey's Rifle Company, which enlisted for three years. After giving his country more than three years of faithful service he was honorably discharged, without having received a wound from the enemy. His narrow escape at Rocky Gap, though, has rendered him unfit for hard work of any kind, being troubled with a weak back. He resumed his old trade at Wheeling, which he followed until 1885. He was prosperous in his business, employing several men all the time, but in 1885 he gave up the boot and shoe business, and entered the Fire Insurance business, and is to-day one of the most successful Fire Insurance men in Wheeling, having acquired a very large business. Sergeant Graebe married Miss Amelia Finsley, daughter of Justice Finsley, of Sherrard, W. Va., to whom have been born six children, four of whom are living. Comrade Graebe is commander of E. W. Stephens G. A. R. post at Wheeling, is a Past officer in the A. O. U. W., and a member of the Improved Order of Red Men, the German Order of Hari Gauri, and the Knights of Pythias. He is a prominent citizen of his city, a man of integrity and honor and a worthy member of society.
Jacob Klein had a varied experience, worthy of mention. In the Pope campaign he was detailed to Captain Johnson's battery, where he remained five months, then returned to his company, and remained with it until captured after the Cloyd mountain expedition. He was taken to Lynchburg, thence to Richmond, and then to Andersonville, where he remained until Sherman captured Atlanta. He was then removed to Florence, S. C., then to Wilmington, N. C., then to Goldsborough, then back to Wilmington, about twelve miles from which place, he was exchanged early in March, 1865. With him were Conrad Miller and Ernest Pogmeur of his company, who died from exposure, and Owen Sullivan, who was exchanged with him. He returned to Wheeling by way of Annapolis, where he was sick for six weeks, and was discharged April 24, 1865.
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