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..
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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, a 19 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, 46 men from the 8th Michigan lie under earth at Fort Lamar
They rest undiscovered on the property
Albrecht Brannick was eleven 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 been on an ocean, let alone a ship of any kind. Born in Mecklenburg in 1842,
Albrecht was the son of V. and Dorothea Brannick. He accompanied 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 young Albrecht became Albert Branick.

A great many of Frederick'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; then to Sophia who would die of typhoid fever in the
first year of her life; and to Mary A. Baese, my great grandmother. After the financial panic of 1857, the Car Works closed and Albert's brother in law was
forced to make another career decision.

In early 1858, Albert, then fifteen, moved with his sister's family to Oakland County, Michigan just southeast of Flint. One year later, they would relocate 38
miles north to Genesee County where they earned income farming the land.

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 his
own age within the rural community. It was a time of belonging and of being part of something greater than one self. 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 peaceful secession from The Union. Threats and bluster from both sides  followed, culminating on April 12,
1861 with shots fired upon Fort Sumter. Overnight, the Great American Dream had become
The Great American Civil War.

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.
JOHN N. INGERSOLL, R. O. WILLIAMS, M. W. QUACKENBUSH. Com'tee April 22, 1861" [1]

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 19 just months before he was mustered into the service of the United States on September 12th at Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan.  He
became a member of the 8th Michigan Infantry, Company G with other boys and men from Genesee County. They in turn were part of a larger contingent
totaling 915 from the state.  His sister and brother in law said their farewells. Herman and young Mary wept. For Albert the departure was not a sad
occasion, but an adventure; a bonding of comrades for a noble purpose.

Five months later while marching South from Washington, D. C., Albert became uncle to Carl J. Baese, born in February of 1862. The letter from home came in
April, a month after his sister's family had moved to 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, Ga.  In April, 1862, the Regiment had a severe engagement with Confederate forces on Wilmington Island, where it lost heavily in killed and
wounded."
[2]

Albert survived the engagement on Wilmington Island but lost friends to battle.  He was a youth no longer.  His eight year journey from the valley of the
Rhine; from childhood to emancipation; from a time of oppression and poverty to a gentle home in the Land of the Free had become a pilgrimage to an
unforeseen destiny.

***

Before the dawn's light of June 16, 1862, Albert was told to empty his weapon, fix the bayonet and scale the Tower Battery, a Confederate fortress on James
Island, South Carolina.

His friends from Genesee were beside him as the charge was ordered and they silently followed their captain to the wall.  It was 4:35am and daylight would
soon expose the 3,500 man Union army that stood waiting at the rear.  Suddenly they were discovered and the immediacy of his mission was upon him.  
While scaling the parapet, Albert was killed instantly by a volley of grape and nails from the defender's artillery.

He lies there still, embraced by friends from Genesee; 19 forever; waiting to live The American Dream.
Credits and Notes

[1]
 "TO ARMS" Poster by John N. Ingersoll, 1861.

[2][3] excerpts from  [
8thRegimentMichiganVolunteerInfantry]  by Don & Lois Harvey

View the actual correspondence of military Officers after the battle.  (PDF files below open in same window)


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Grave Database (National): 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

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

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)

© 2005-2015 SB ancestry™ All Rights Reserved
Images, text or information found herein can not be used for commercial purposes.
    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.  19
    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
    Goold, 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
    Meil, 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
    Wunderlish, 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... " [3]