Captain William Deetz

William "Wilhelm" Deetz, 2nd great-grandfather of Companion Wesley Sainz, answered President Lincoln's call for volunteers in April 1862 to put down the rebellion. He mustered into the 7th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the "Steuben Rangers," as a Lt. of Co. G. Marching under the Regimental flag proclaiming in German "Wo Freiheit wohnt, ist unser Land" ('Where Liberty dwells, there is our country.'), he spent the next year training at Battery Barracks and Hart's Island, NYC before embarking for Federal Hill, MD in June 1862. He was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, promoted to Capt. of Co. H., and put in command of a Bde. entrenchment unit. In July 1862, his Co. was ordered to charge the enemy at the Battle of Malvern Hill, VA. His 1st. Sgt. saw him leading Co. H with his sword drawn and then struck by a mini ball above the left knee. Falling on the field, he was captured by the Confederates and taken prisoner to Savage Station, VA for 10 days. He was then interned at Libby Prison in Richmond, VA until August 1862, when he was paroled back to the Union in a prisoner exchange. He was ordered back to NYC as a recruiter until he mustered out of service in Sept. on medical disability. Loyal to the Union until the end, he died in NYC July 1884, and was provided a grave marker by his G.A.R. Camp to honor his service in defense of the United States.