Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fiddler’s Green: Henry Sachs

Henry Sachs was born in Bavaria about 1836. He immigrated to the United States at age 16, aboard the ship Emperor from LeHavre, France. He arrived in New York City on September 27, 1852. Five years late, Sachs lived in Boston and worked as a laborer. He was enlisted into Company K, 2d Dragoons there by Lt. McArthur on October 1, 1857. His enlistment documents describe him as 5’9” tall, with hazel eyes, dark hair, and a fair complexion.

Sachs served in the regiment on the frontier and in Utah until the outbreak of the war, earning promotions to corporal and sergeant in Co. K. His was the only company of the regiment to reach Washington, D.C. in time for the battle of Bull Run in July 1862, where he distinguished himself. According to Colonel Porter’s report on the battle, “While the cavalry were engaged in feeling the left flank of the enemy’s position, some important captures were made --- one by Sergeant sachs, Second Dragoons, of a General George H. Steuart, of Baltimore.” This exploit earned him a promotion to first sergeant of the company, and later a second promotion.

On October 24, 1861, First Sergeant Sachs was discharged in Washington, D.C. to receive a commission as a second lieutenant assigned to Company C, 3rd U.S. Cavalry. The regiment was then fighting in New Mexico Territory. He started west not long after, but took a long time to reach his new regiment.

By the following June, Lt. Sachs had only reached Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, where the post commander assigned him as the post adjutant. Sachs was promoted to first lieutenant, 3rd Cavalry and assigned to Company L on July 17, 1862, but remained at Fort Leavenworth for the next nine months working as the post adjutant and acting assistant quartermaster. While at the post, he participated in skirmishes at Rocky Bluff and Hickory Grove, Missouri in August 1862. He was wounded in a separate skirmish with Quantrill’s raiders in Missouri the following month.

After he joined his regiment, Lt. Sachs commanded a detachment in Tennessee in June 1863 for several months. On October 15, he was assigned as the Regimental Quartermaster and served in that position until June 1, 1864. After his relief from this position, he commanded an independent company of cavalry near Van Buren, Arkansas for several months. Something that he did during this time brought him to the attention of his superiors, for on November 7, 1864, Lt. Sachs was assigned to headquarters, Department of Arkansas, on the staff of Maj.Gen. Frederick Steele. He served the next two months as an acting assistant quartermaster for the department.

First Lieutenant Sachs resigned his commission on January 25, 1865 for unknown reasons, and I was unable to find any further record of him following the war.

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