Louis Erdman, Chief Bugler, 5th NY Cavalry
My great great grandfather, Louis Erdman, was employed at the Burden Iron Works (the largest supplier of horseshoes to the Union Army) in Troy, NY in October, 1862 when he enlisted with the Co. M, 5th New York Cavalry as a bugler. He was an immigrant from Germany, 28 years old, with a wife and 1 year old son Albert at home in Berlin, NY. He joined for service and was enrolled for 3 years on October 21, 1862 in Albany, NY, and was mustered in on October 30, 1862. He was 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighed 127 pounds, and was listed as having a dark complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. Company muster rolls indicate his status as "not stated" from November 1, 1862 to February 1, 1863, but the rolls show him as a "recruit from depot" gain on February 4, 1863 in New York City, and soon afterward joined up with Company M in Virginia doing outpost under command of Brigadier General Julius H. Stahel. He was reported as "Absent (sick)" in Fairfax, Virginia on February 28, 1863.
He then participated in the following skirmishes and campaigns: New Baltimore, VA; Warrenton, VA; Spotted Tavern, VA; Aldie, VA; Fairfax Courthouse, VA; Little River Turnpike, VA; Broad Run, VA; White Plains, VA; Warrenton Junction, VA; Shannon Hill, VA; Fairfax Courthouse, VA; Marsteller's Place, VA; Greenwich, VA; Snicker's Gap, VA; Middleburg, VA; Warrenton, VA; Hanover, PA; Gettysburg, PA; Monterey, PA; Smithsburg, MD; Hagerstown, MD; Boonsboro, MD; Hagerstown, MD; Williamsport, MD; Falling Waters, MD; Ashby's Grove, VA; Lamb's Creek, VA; Port Conway, VA; and Brandy Station, VA. He was promoted to Chief Bugler, F&S, 5th Ny Cavalry on July 22nd, 1863.
On September 13, 1863, he crossed the Rappahannock with the 5th at Kelly's Ford, and the same day fought at the battle of Culpeper Court House, where he was captured by elements of Lomax's Brigade(5th, 6th, & 15th VA and 1st MD Cavalry) who were guarding a train (maybe that's why I work at a railroad museum) being loaded with supplies.
He was first sent to Richmond VA on September 17, 1863. He spent time in the prison hospital on Belle Island on November 21, 1863 and again on December 12, 1863. He was then sent to Andersonville, GA on February 21, 1864. He again was hospitalized from March 11-14, 1864, when he was returned to the general population of the prison. More hospital time was recorded on June 7, 1864, and he was not to return to the prison.
Louis Erdman died in the hospital at Andersonville July 18, 1864 from dysentery and associated diarrhea. He was buried in grave # 3552 under the name "L. Edmonds."