submitted by John Heuring
Fredrick Augustus Heuring was born in Baden, Baden Germany 1827, Died
in Gentryville, IN in 1907 Signed in the 25th Regiment Indiana
Volunteers commanded by Col. Veatch at Evansville on 8/19/1861. Fredrick
completed his 3 year duty as Chaplain for this regiment and was
discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant at Atlanta, Georgia on the 21st of August
1864. Fredrick became quite generally known as "Gus" the "fighting
chaplain." He was listed as a staff officer along with the Colonel, Lt.
Colonel, Major, Surgeon, Adjutant, Quartermaster, etc. He damaged the
small of his back pulling wounded from the battlefields.
An interesting link to his mention in the official records written by Col. Veatch and J.W. Foster regarding the Shiloh battle where it states "Surgeon Walker and Chaplain Heuring were in the hottest part of the field, active in their work of attention to the wounded."
At Davis' Mills, he planted the flag on the mound then he and Union Col. W.H. Morgan meet rebel Gen. Van Dorn on the bridge as the rebels called a truce. It is recorded by John Martin of Co. A of the 25th Ind. "We raised a tremendous yell and poured minie balls into them at a lively rate. Our Chaplain Gus. Ewing (Heuring) ran our regimental flag up a pole and planted it on top of the mound during the hottest of the fight" & later the same day: "They (rebels) then ceased firing and Gen. Van Dorn (rebel) and some ofhis staff came onto the bridge with a flag of truce. Col. W.H. Morgan, our commander, and the chaplain Gus. Ewing (Heuring) went out to the bridge to meet them." source: Cox Collection, Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana. @ John Martin Papers/Letters/Indiana Historical Society
W.H. Morgan recorded of the Davis' Mills battle:
"From the best information I am of the opinion that the rebel force was not much less than 6 000, while my force numbered only 200 infantry and 50 cavalry. With such discrepancies it cannot but be said that all are entitled to great credit for their gallant defense on that day, which will be ever bright in the memory of the Twenty-fifth Indiana. The enemy left in our hands 22 dead, 30 wounded, and 20 prisoners, together with 100 stand of arms. Thirty wounded were deposited by them in a house, near a church, about three-quarters of a mile to the rear, These were left in care of a surgeon, and from him I learn that between 200 and 300 wounded were taken off in ambulances and on horseback. Our loss was but 3 slightly wounded and none killed."
The Indiana State Historical Society is in possession of Fredrick's daily journal of writings that he kept during his 3 years of service. The journal, kept more or less day by day during Heuring's three years of service. "More than many such journals it gets into his feelings about things, rather than simply stating the facts. He has a good deal to say about wounded men in his regiment, and more than once is critical of decisions made by higher authority. Once it is because the general is drunk, another time because the general (Grant) seems heartless. A recurring theme is that wounded men should be sent home to recuperate instead of being kept in hospital. He was put under arrest at least once for speaking his mind. His duties do not seem to have brought him into direct contact with the soldiers except during services and when dealing with the wounded. He was much more likely to be sitting by himself studying a German Testament."
Source: Citizens Historical Association/Indianapolis No. 2 B244 D12 E74 F4:
"In Aug. 1862, During a Union meeting in Evansville,Ind., Mr. Heuring arose, drew his sword, and announced to several rebel sympathizers, who had denounced the cause of the Union and were on the virge of causing a riot, that he would bring order to the meeting or die in the attempt. This courageous action quieted the would be rioters, and there was no further disturbance."
After Fredrick's discharge he continued to minister with the GAR and throughout southern Indiana. He died in Gentryville, IN in 1907.
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