Charles Conrad Becker served with the 128th Indiana Infantry from 1864 until 1866. He fought with his regiment during the battles of Franklin and Nashville. He was fortunate enough to survive both and live through the end of the war.
Charles son is Harold Becker. As of late 2010 he is 94 years old. Mr. Becker, a resident of Michigan, was born in 1916 to Charles Conrad Becker (1846-1934) . Mr. Becker was born when his father had lived 70 years, but during his service had witnessed several lifetimes of agony and despair.
Immediately after the Civil War ended the U.S. government assigned several Union regiments to attend to the ghastly task of re-burying Union soldiers who had died and were hastily buried in mass trenches in Confederate prisons. One of those prisons was at Salisbury, N.C. Charles Conrad Becker, a native of Crown Point, Indiana, was assigned with his 128th comrades to re-bury thousands of Union soldiers in Salisbury.
Charles’ son, Harold, says that his father never wanted to talk about that experience. Who could blame him? What could possibly be more ghastly and horrifying than digging up decomposed, diseased-ridden bodies in a defunct Confederate prison camp?
Charles Conrad Becker
St. Johns, In
Born September 8, 1846 Crown Point, In
Passed July 22,1934
Company H of the 128th Regular Indiana Infantry
Discharged at Raleigh, North Carolina, April 10, 1866
Wife: Barbara Laesser, Chicago, Ill, 1900
Children: Louise, William, Albert by earlier wife Florence,Charles, Gene, Harold by Barbara Laesser
10/23/2000 Survivor remaining: Harold Becker, Rockford, Michigan
Mr. Becker was a grocer all of his life, following his fathers footsteps. He retired at age 80 and moved to Montague, Mi. He was a commander of Lynn post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Chicago, Ill. Lynn Post was organized in April, 1874.His regiment was sent to Salisbury, NC after the war, in 1865 to Rebury 10,000 of their comrades who had fallen in battle or died from disease and starvation in prison. They had been hurriedly interred in long trenches and piled one upon the other. The rains had washed away the fresh soil from the trenches, exposing all the skeletons of those on the top layer. Having accomplished this mournful task, the regiment was mustered out on April 10, 1865. Source: Chicago Daily Journal, Tuesday May 24 (or 29), 1924.
A conflicting report has Mr. Becker enlisting Feb. 22, 1862with the 65th Indiana Infantry.
Mr. Becker was an avid hunter and fisherman.
Another report was that Mr. Becker was from Lion Post No. 9, of Chicago, IL. He was to have been a commander of this post.We have mention of his having “gotten thin in prison.” We haven’t found any authentication of this yet.
He passed away July 22, 1934 in Montague, Mi. He was buried there.My wife, Mary, is the daughter of Wilber and Florence Barbara (Laesser) Mikkelsen. Both have passed away, leaving only Harold Becker remaining as a survivor of a Civil War Veteran.
Residence St Johns IN; 17 years old.
Enlisted on 3/7/1864 as a Private.
On 3/7/1864 he mustered into “H” Co. IN 128th Infantry He was Mustered Out on 4/10/1866 at Raleigh, NC
Other Information:born 9/8/1846 in Crown Point, INMember of GAR Post # 9 (Lyons) in Chicago, ILdied 7/23/1934 in Montague, MI Buried: Montague, MI
Submitted by Kraig McNutt
on behalf of Harold Becker, son of Charles