Christian Hinterberger

Christian Hinterberger was born in 1833 at Altendorf near Buchs, St. Gallen, Switzerland.  In 1852 at the age of 19, Christian joined the flow of immigrants to the United States.  He settled in St. Louis where he was employed by the Swiss-owned Wiggins Ferry Company located on the St. Louis levee. Christian lived in the Soulard District which was predominantly German speaking. Christian like many recent immigrants from Switzerland and Germany was a strong Unionists who supported free soil and anti slavery  policies.  When the Civil War broke out, Christian together with most of the other young men in his neighborhood enlisted as a private in the 4th Missouri Voluntary Infantry Regiment, part of General Sigel's German Division. The 4th Missouri  was authorized for three months serving from April, 1861 through August, 1861. The 4th Missouri was assigned to protect the Pacific Railroad  near St. Louis and was involved in General Fremont's Expedition to Cairo, Illinois.

At the end of the 4th Missouri's term in August, 1861, Christian and many of the men of the 4th Missouri transferred to the 17th Missouri that was being organized by the St. Louis Turners, a German -American  athletic society .  The 17th Missouri was also composed  almost exclusively of German-Americans and together with the 3rd and 12th Missouri  was known as the German Brigade. Christian  was promoted to Sergeant in 1863 and  served with  the 17th Missouri until September, 1864 when the regiment was mustered out at the end of its three year term.  Christian was slightly wounded  in the right leg during the assault on Ringgold Gap after the victory at Chattannoga and  severely wounded in the chest during the Atlanta Campaign near Ezra Church.

Christian returned to St. Louis after recovering in the Union Hospital at Marietta, Georgia.  Christian was partially disabled by his wounds and was unable to undertake any form of strenuous labor.  He  worked for the Wiggins Ferry Company in various capacities  and was active in  the GAR  until his death in 1898.  Christian was survived by his wife and four adult children. Samuel, Christian's eldest son became the Superintendent of the River Division of the Wiggins Ferry Company and his descendants continue to reside in the St. Louis area.


Copyright (c) 2001   Philip R. Hinderberger