Abel S. Bennett - Daniel S. Boyer - Albert M. Branick - William Capron - James Carman - Emory R. Curtis
Ira Delling - Franklin B. Howland - John Kinsman - Peter Simonson - James M. Wright
Cpt. Benjamin B. Church - Cpt. Samuel C. Guild
Battle of Secessionville June 1862 Charleston, SC
Battle of Secessionville June 1862 Charleston, SC
This is the story of Albert M. Branick, an 18 year old fallen volunteer of the 8th Michigan Infantry, Company G
who died there in the early morning hours of June 16, 1862 and remains there still
.8th Michigan Roll of Honor - KIA - 16 June, 1862 - Secessionville, S. C.
In total, 45 men from the 8th Michigan lie under earth at Fort Lamar
They rest undiscovered on the property
Albrecht Brannick was ten when he came to the United States from Germany in late 1853. The crossing was extraordinarily arduous due to the severe
weather encountered in the North Atlantic that year. It was the first time he had ever been on a ship, and he and many of the voyagers fell ill. Born in
Mecklenburg in 1843, Albrecht was the son of Victor and Dorothea Brannick. He was accompanied by his sister Maria and Friedrich Baese II, her new
husband, on the nine week voyage.

After the family arrived in New York, their names were recorded and altered to fit the immigration standards of the time. Maria became Mary, Friedrich II
became Frederick (and later, just Fred), and the young boy became Albert Branick.

A great many of Fred's former Prussian neighbors were settling in the Michigan area. It was his intention to follow their lead, but while still in New York, he
was sidelined by an unknown illness that depleted his savings. To acquire money for the journey and for property, he hired on with the Buffalo Car Company,
a wooden railway car manufacturer.

In those intermediate years, Fred and Mary began their family. Albert would become uncle to Herman in 1854; and in 1857 to Sophia, who would die of
typhoid fever in the first year of her life. After the financial panic of 1857, the Car Works closed and Albert's brother in law became unemployed. Albert's sister
was also pregnant with another child and in July of 1858, Mary A. Baese (my grandmother) was born.

In early 1859, Albert, then fifteen, moved with his sister's family to Michigan, first to Macomb County, then to Oakland County, just southeast of Flint. One
year later, they relocated 38 miles north to Genesee County, where they earned income farming the land for others.

As a teenager, Albert was beginning to define himself. He was adjusting to being an American, working for local growers and making many new friends within
the rural community. It was a time of belonging and of being part of something greater than himself. His childhood memories of the Old Country were fading.
Further South, events larger than the personal exodus of this small band of immigrants were coming to a bitter climax.

In January of 1861, the Southern States began a secession from The Union. Threats and bluster from both sides followed, culminating on April 12, 1861 with
shots fired upon Fort Sumter. Over night, the nation that he and his family had adopted was divided, and the American Civil War had begun.

The poster read:
TO ARMS! TO ARMS! YE BRAVE! Men of Shiawassee County: The Country calls upon your patri-otism! Our Federal Government is seriously threatened by the Goths
& Vandals, within reach of the Capitol.  At a preliminary Meeting, held in this city on Saturday evening last, the following named per-sons were appointed for that
purpose and do hereby call a MASS MEETING AT OWOSSO, ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24th.  At 1 o'clock P. M., to consult on the PUBLIC CRISIS, and to effect such
necessary organization, and to receive such enlistments for the cause of Free Government, as may be expected of Shiawassee county in the hour of peril. Speeches,
Music and Patriotic Songs will enliven the occa-sion.

The men of Michigan; of counties Gratiot and Saginaw and Genesee and Oakland; of Livingston and Ingham and Shiawassee and Clinton; rallied to answer
the call of their country. Albert attended with friends. They sang songs, listened to the message and were fueled by the energy of the crowd. Young and
headstrong and angry; all would enlist.

☆ ☆ ☆

Albert turned 18 in August and enlisted in Flint, Michigan on his birthday. He was mustered into the service of the United States on September 23rd at Fort
Wayne in Detroit, under Col. William M. Fenton. He was assigned to the 8th Michigan Infantry, Company G along with other young men from Genesee and
surrounding counties. They in turn were part of a larger contingent totaling 915 volunteers from the state.  His sister and brother in law said their farewells;
Herman and young Mary wept. To Albert, his departure was not a sad occasion, but a new adventure and a bonding of comrades for a noble purpose.

The Michigan 8th marched South from Washington, D.C. as part of the "Expeditionary Corp" under General T. W. Sherman. In November, Albert participated in
their first engagement at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. On January 1st, 1862, the Company fought at Coosaw Ferry near Port Royal.

In February of 1862, he became uncle to Carl J. Baese. The letter announcing the birth came to him in early April, a month after his sister's family had moved
into their first real home on a small farm in Shiawassee County. It was perhaps the last bright moment of human warmth that he would cheer.

"The Regiment was assigned to the "Expeditionary Corp", under General T. W. Sherman, seeing service along the coast at Hilton Head, Beaufort, S. C., Coosaw River
and Tybee Island, Georgia. On April 16, 1862, the Regiment had a severe engagement with Confederate forces on Wilmington Island, where it lost heavily in killed
and wounded."

Albert survived the engagement on Wilmington Island in Georgia, where he lost friends to battle. He was a youth no longer. His eight year journey from
childhood to emancipation; from a time of oppression and poverty in the valley of the Rhine to a gentle home in the land of the free had come to an end. For
him and others, the promise of their bright futures had been dimmed by the war.

☆ ☆ ☆

At 2 am, one hundred eighty four soldiers departed the Union encampment at John Grimball's plantation, but it took those men of the Michigan 8th another
two hours to stealthily advance to the edge of the open field of tall corn in front of the enemy's works.

There, at the first glow of dawn on June 16, 1862, Pvt Albert Branick and his fellow infantrymen were told to empty their weapons, fix their bayonets and
scale the Tower Battery, an earthen Confederate fortress on James Island, South Carolina.

Albert silently followed his Captain who had entered the middle of the field, and with his friends from Genesee beside him, the men crept the last 100 yards
to the ditch. By then, it was 4:15 and daylight would soon expose the 3,500 man Union army that stood waiting at the rear.

When the company attempted to cross the abattis, their assault was discovered, and the silence of the morning was shattered by the sound of muskets,
whose deadly fire swept their ranks from the right and left.

Realizing the immediacy of his mission, Albert rushed to scale the parapet. Before he could reach the steep mound, he was killed instantly by a canister of
grapeshot and nails which burst from the defender's artillery.

His body was buried by the victors where it fell; his and so many others. He lies there still, embraced by friends from Genesee, eighteen forever, waiting to
live his American dream.

bio researched and authored by M. Fortier with respect to great uncle, Albert Branick

~ "TO ARMS" Poster by John N. Ingersoll, 1861.

~excerpts from [
8thRegimentMichiganVolunteerInfantry]  by Don & Lois Harvey

View the actual correspondence of military Officers after the battle.  
PDF files below open in same window - use browser back button to return to this page - documents were transcribed by M. Fortier from handwritten letters)

Request for the dead

~Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Grave Database, National (Search Grave Records): type last name: Branick, first name: Albert

~Graves Registration Database (
Department of Michigan): type last name: Branick, first name: Albert

~References: History of Genesee county, Michigan, her people, industries and institutions, by Edwin O. Wood 1861-1918: pp 134, 376

~Thanks go to the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust for preserving this hallowed ground and to Brian Long for
his respectful care and maintenance of it. Note: There is no longer a direct internet path to the page.

~Thanks to Billy Coker for the use of his civil war battle re-enactment photograph (Billy Coker © 2007 - all rights reserved)

© 2005-2017 SB ancestry™ All Rights Reserved
Images, text or information found herein can not be used for commercial purposes. Research was carried out by author independently of published accounts.


'Grape Canister' is a tinned-iron can loaded with iron or lead balls held together with iron rings.
The effect is similar to a shotgun blast but fired from short range artillery.

    List of 8th Michigan Infantry KIA 16 June 1862

    Find-a-Grave Memorials: Fort Lamar

    * Genesee County Volunteers

    * Bennett, Abel S.  19
    * Boyer, Daniel S.  19
    * Branick, Albert M.  18
    Brown, Ephraim  30
    Burgess, Clarkson  22
    Burr, Benjamin F.  29
    Burwell, John R. 23
    * Capron, William  18
    Carley, Edward  21
    * Carman, James  26
    Church, Benjamin B. Cpt  37
    Cobb, Sidney D.  22
    Coburn, Levi P.  21
    Conley, John  27
    * Curtis, Emory R.  18
    Davis, George W.  20
    * Delling, Ira   23
    Dodge, Leroy M.  22
    Ford, Alvin  23
    Gould, Dorr.  23
    Grover, Dewitt C.  35
    Guild, Samuel C. Cpt  22
    Hendee, Royal D.  18
    Hickman, Zachariah  20
    * Howland, Franklin B.  22
    * Kinsman, John  22
    Kroll, Solomon  24
    Laycock, William B.  29
    Lusk, George  23
    McVeigh, George F.  25
    Miel, Charles H.  42
    Morgan, James M.  25
    Morton, Herrod  18
    Rathburn, Girden Clark  18
    * Simonson, Peter  23
    Smith, Charles  22
    Strickland, William J.  21
    Thomas, John  22
    Turrell, Frederick  29
    Washburn, Benjamin L.  21
    Williams, George  20
    Williams, Henry R.  22
    Winegarden, Isaac J.  18
    * Wright, James M.  19
    Wunderlich, Herman  28
Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.

Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forecast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

~Will Carleton
photo courtesy Billy Coker © 2007
"Since it is not granted to us to live long, let us transmit to posterity some memorial that we have at least lived." ~E. Joseph Cossman
Albert Branick
"...At Secessionville on James Island the regiment distinguished itself by a bayonet charge upon the enemy's works, and though
their ranks were swept by the enemy's artillery, not a gun was fired until the parapet was reached.  Here the enemy's fire was
so destructive that it was impossible to enter the works and the assaulting party was obliged to withdraw, with a loss of 13
killed... "
Compiled by M. Fortier from hundreds of records exclusively for SBºancestry, the list above is comprised of only the Michigan 8th MIA.

51 missing in action from other regiments in the fight may also be buried in the mass grave at Fort Lamar:

7th Connecticut Infy (MIA 4), 79th New York Infy (MIA 34), 100th Pennsylvania Infy (MIA 6), 46th New York Infy (MIA 2), 1st New York Engineers (MIA 5)

© 2005-2017 SB ancestry™ All Rights Reserved
Images, text or information found herein can not be used for commercial purposes.