Sergeant

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Here is a reply that I received about the photo of John J. Neuhaus. It was sent by Ernst Hoffmann,

"I have sad news for you: Your John Ignatius may have gone to the States from Westphalia, but by no means he originated in that province......

The uniform is the uniform of an "Unteroffizier" <sergeant> in the Grenadiers of East Prussia. The Regiment was later known as "Grenadier-Regiment Koenig Friedrich der Grosse (3.Ostpreussisches) Nr.4" stationed in Rastenburg at the beginning of WW I. <i.e. Regiment of Grenadiers called King Frederik the Great, 3rd line Regiment of the province of East Prussia and 4th line Regiment of Infantery in the Prussian Army.

It belonged to the 1st Army-Corps (Eastern Prussia). It's one of those "young" regiments... It's history dates only back to May 1st, 1626 when it was founded by a certain Colonel Hildebrandt von Kracht in Frankfurt on the Oder river.... It acquired the name of King Frederic only on 27.1.1889.....

Being part of the 1st Army Corps provided for the white shoulder straps....<you count only the number on ONE strap i.e. "FOUR"> Later in life <i.e. after 1889 the regiment wore a name-cipher on the shoulder-straps <FR II> and during the time period 1872-1873+ the name cipher of the then Ciolonel in Chief : King Johann of Saxonia>

Thus the picture is dated before 1872:

The official name of the Regiment at the time indicated became:

  • 10.3.1823 "4. Infanterie Regiment"
  • 4.7.1860 "3.Ostpreussisches Grenadier-Regiment (Nr. 4)"
  • 7.5.1861 "3.Ostpreussisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr 4"

Your John Ignatius was drafted into the Regiment by Oct 1849 <in accordance with the drafting instructions> for a three year period of compulsory military service. After those three years <he must not have been too bad> he was allowed to volunteer for an additional period of 1 to 5 years <thus to 1853-1857> and was promoted to sergeant <not the German "Sergeant", which would be Staff-Sergeant> <you can see his rank ensignia on his collar: the white surrounding>

During this period the regiment was stationed in

  • 1816: Danzig
  • 1851: Koenigsberg in Preussen
  • 1855: Danzig
  • <1889: Allenstein>

With detachments as follows

  • 1832-1837 Graudenz
  • 1864-1866: Culm

Well at the time he left the forces <ie 1857> the society in Eastern <and your case Western Prussia <as called later> Prussia could not provide for enough jobs on farms, while in Westfalia the area of mining <and steel cooking>

Ruhr district became blooming.... So he likely followed the well trotten path end ended up on a sailing-boat....

Hope I made your day and provided you with enough fooder to think about <and keep you out of the kitchen for a while and the family to enter a new diet>"

Ernst