Belgian Civil War soldiers
|Medals of honor||Staff and special Units||Regulars||Navy||old soldier's home||DRaft|
Eastern Branch, in Togus Maine (1866)
• Northwestern Branch, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1867)
• Central Branch, in Dayton, Ohio (1867)
• Southern Branch, in Hampton, Virginia (1870)
• Western Branch, in Leavenworth, Kansas (1885)
• Pacific Branch, in Santa Monica (LA), California (1888)
Marion Branch, in Marion, Indiana (1888)
• Danville Branch, in Danville, Illinois (1898)
• Mountain Branch, in Johnson City, Tennessee (1901)
• Battle Mountain Sanatorium, in Hot Springs, South Dakota (1902)
• Bath Branch (formerly the New York State Soldier & Sailor Home),in Bath, New York (1929)
• Roseburg Branch, Roseburg, Oregon
the old soldier's homes: Northwestern
That Soldier Home was the second of the original three branches established by the newly formed Board of Manager, located on the west side of Milwaukee. While the Eastern Branch was the first National Home branch to open, the Northwestern Branch was the first National Home branch that the Board of Managers had designed and built. Milwaukee became the site of the Northwestern Branch due to the combined efforts of the West Side Soldiers Aid Society and George Walker, a member of the Board of Managers. Dedicated to assisting Civil War soldiers, the West Side Soldiers’ Aid Society provided meals, supplies and medical care in several rented storefronts during the war. Determined to build a permanent State soldiers home, they incorporated as the Wisconsin Soldiers’ Home and held a month long Sanitary Fair that raised $100,000. Before construction began, George Walker, a Milwaukee native, convinced the society to contribute their resources to the new National Home, rather than build a State home.
Thomas Budd Van Horne, Civil War chaplain and well-known landscape architect, designed the grounds and cemetery in a picturesque style. He used the varied topography of the campus to create curving paths and roads lined with trees and a relaxing, scenic setting. Van Horne left portions of the campus as naturally wooded areas, but created manicured lawns and formal flowerbeds immediately surrounding the buildings. The northern and eastern portions of the campus were left for farming use. Milwaukee architect Edward Townsend Mix designed the first buildings for the new National Home branch. Built in 1867-1868. The five-story, Main Building, was designed to house all the functions of the Northwestern Branch. The Main Building contained the dormitories, administrative offices, kitchen, dining hall, chapel, and meeting hall. However, as the Northwestern Branch grew, the Board of Managers adopted the decentralized plan used at other branches. Barracks, a hospital, headquarters, theater, library and recreation hall were built to the south and west of the Main Building.
During the first year the Northwestern Branch was open, 212 veterans lived there. By 1877, 1307 veterans resided at the Branch. Eventually, the population outgrew the capacity of the original buildings and in 1879, the Home began a building campaign that lasted nearly 20 years. (from various sources)
Belgians soldiers in the Soldier's Home, from the censuses:
1870: none found, it seems the Soldiers' Home was overlooked by the enumerator 1880: Carlos Girsh, born about 1836, Belgium Carlos Groetch, born about 1838, Belguim Theodore Risbowne, born about 1800 Belgium John Vanzant, born about 1832 Belgium 1900: Meesmans George, born May 1832, single, from Belgium, emigrated 1856 Carlos Gersch, born April 1833, divorced, from Belgium, emigrated 1840 Joseph Hennard, born October 1827, single, from Belgium, emigrated 1855 Peter Jacques, born February 1832, married 31 y., from Belgium, emigrated 1856 Charles Rumbout, born February 1836, born Belgium, but place of parents unknown, emigrated unknown August Vandervest, born November 1840, married, from Belgium, emigrated 1860 Joseph C Vandevest, born September 1827, widower, from Belgium, emigrated 1858 1905 Carlos Gersch Inmate 1905 Belgium born abt 1836 (Wisconsin census) Joseph Hannard (Hanward) Inmate 1905 Belgium born abt 1828 Charles Office Inmate 1905 Belgium born abt 1844 Pierce Piller Inmate 1905 Belgium abt 1820 Joseph C Vandervest Inmate 1905 Belgium born abt 1828 August Vandervest Inmate 1905 Belgium born abt 1841 1910 Joseph Hennard 83 y.o., single, born Belgium from German parents, emigrated 1855 John B Nelis, 74 y.o. widower, Joseph C Vandervest, 82 y.o., widower, emigrated 1859 1920: John Keich, 62 y.o., emigrated 1865, mother tongue Flemish Telisfond Swinnen, 79 y.o., emigrated ??? 1863 ??? (unreadable)
Belgians soldiers in the Eastern Home, from the Soldiers' Home Registers:
in Bold date of first admission and date of last discharge.