Ernst Boessling Ernst A. Boessling

Name: Ernst A. Boessling
Company: D
Died September 10, 1863, at Camp Sherman, Mississippi
  • Date:  June 16, 1846
  • Place: Roeburg (sp?), Hanover (Germany)
Mustered In
  • Date: February 25, 1862
  • Rank: Private
  • Age: 15
  • Residence prior to military service: Roeburg, Hanover (Germany); Belle Plaine, Scott County, Minnesota
  • Vocation prior to military service: Farmer's son

  • Date: September 10, 1863
  • Place:  Camp Sherman, Mississippi
  • Burial:  Vicksburg National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi (Section F, Grave 1236)

Ernst A. Boessling Biography and Civil War Narrative

Private Ernst BoesslingErnst A. Boessling was born in Roeburg (sp?), Hanover (Germany), on June 16, 1846. He was the son of Christian (born in Hanover about 1802) and Sophie (born in Hanover about 1815) Boessling. The Christian Boessling family immigrated to America and settled in Belle Plaine, Scott County, Minnesota. The 1860 census shows 58-year-old Christian "Bushling" living and farming in Belle Plaine. At the time, Sophia was 45, and "Anst" was 14.

On Tuesday, February 25, 1862, Ernst A. Boessling enlisted as a Private in Company D of the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Although he was only 15 years old, military records show his age as 18. After participating in the defense of Fort Abercrombie,  Dakota Territory, Private Boessling and Company D were sent to Germantown, Tennessee, joining the 5th Minnesota on February 14, 1863. They participated in the siege and capture of Vicksburg from May 18 to July 4, 1863. After the fall of Vicksburg, the 5th Minnesota spent a couple weeks guarding the Black River Bridge about 12 miles east of Vicksburg. From there they moved to Bear Creek in the vicinity of Camp Sherman--named after their commander, William Tecumseh Sherman.

Living conditions were often unhealthful during the time the 5th Minnesota spent near Vicksburg. Though not engaged in military combat, 50 members of the 5th Minnesota died during the months of July and August 1863. Private Boessling was one of the many 5th Minnesota Volunteers who suffered illness. Ernst A. Boessling died Thursday, September 10, 1863, at Camp Sherman, Mississippi. He was buried at Vicksburg National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi (Section F, Grave 1236). A tombstone erected at Oakgrove Cemetery in Belle Plaine in remembrance of Ernst Boessling states: “The Juvenile Hero, aged of 17 years, 2 months, and 25 days.”E. A. Boessling Grave MarkerSophie Boessling

Christian Boessling died, leaving Sophia without her husband or her son. The 1883 list of Scott County pensioners lists Sophia Boesling as the recipient of a pension amount of $8.00 per month. She saved those government death benefits. As she grew older, she wanted to provide a home for others like herself, so she donated $4500 and her family's farmland. This gift was used by her local church, Trinity Lutheran, and others to build das Alten und Waisenheim--the Aged and Orphans' Home. Construction began with groundbreaking on July 10, 1898. The home officially opened on November 6 of that same year. Two days later, Sophie--a resident in this new home--died unexpectedly on Tuesday, November 8, 1898.

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