After the 4th Regiment completed its ninety day enlistment, Romer convinced many of the men in his company to follow him into the Turner Society's new three year regiment known as the Western Turner Rifles Regiment. He was commissioned Captain on September 2, 1861 and appointed commanding officer of Company C. He was extremely popular with the men of the regiment, especially those of Swiss heritage who naturally looked upon him as their leader. During the Missouri Campaign, his tactical abilities came to the attention of Col. Hassendeubel and he was promoted to Major on December 11, 1862. Thereafter, he left his company and was assigned to the regimental staff, serving as regimental operations officer at Pea Ridge, the long march through Arkansas, the assault on Arkansas Post and the Vicksburg Campaign. After Col. Hassendeubel's death at Vicksburg in July, 1863, he became the regimental executive officer, serving in that capacity during the Chattanooga Campaign. While on the march through rebel infested Tennessee the regiment was often divided into two battalions and he acted as the second battalion's commander. His unit attacked a rebel cavalry unit, severely wounding Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the South's most famous cavalry officer. On November 26, 1863, he was wounded leading the 17th Missouri's bloody assault on Taylor's Ridge near Ringgold, Georgia while pursuing Bragg's Army after the capture of Missionary Ridge.
He was appointed regimental commander after the death of Col. Cramer on May 2, 1864 and promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel on June 13, 1864. He successfully led the 17th Missouri during the victorious North Georgia and Atlanta Campaign. In September 1864, at the expiration of the regiment's three years of service in the field, he led the 17th Missouri back to St. Louis where he was recognized as one of the regiment's most durable and effective officers. Mustered out of service on September 28, 1864, he was reunited with his wife Caroline and his two sons Frank age ten and William S. age seven. He initially resumed his profession as a saddle maker, but was appointed deputy sheriff for St. Louis, a position he held until his retirement. He was a member of G.A.R. and MOLLUS, the union officers association. He was part of a group of former officers who was close to "Uncle Billy" Sherman when he resided in St. Louis. His family continued to live in St. Louis until recent times where his son, William S. Romer and his grandson, William J. Romer operated Kohler & Romer's, a well known men's clothing store.
Philip R. Hinderberger 1/7/01
Copyright(c) 2001 Philip R. Hinderberger