The Civil War

Martin Weiser

Martin Weiser was born in Baden, Germany and immigrated to the United States in about 1857. He married Elmira Jane Creger, also of German descent. She was not a first or second generation immigrant (or even third except for one grandfather), but of Pennsylvania 'Dutch' (German) lines. He was a wheelwright and wagon maker by profession.

Service Record:
Enlisted as a Private on 17 April 1861
Enlisted in Company A, 4th Infantry Regiment Virginia on 17 April 1861.
Wounded on 21 July 1861 at Manassas, VA
Discharged Company A, 4th Infantry Regiment Virginia on 08 August 1861
American Civil War Soldiers

After the Battle of Manassa, Martin Weiser's brigade was henceforth called the "Stonewall Brigade," and this action saw the first use of the "Rebel Yell."

The 4th Virginia Infantry at the Battle of Manassas:
A Brief Synopsis by Bret Sumner (formerly posted on www.stonewallbrigade.com)

Origins: The Wythe Grays, a Company of 81 men led by Captain William Terry, were organized in Wythe County on April 17, 1861, the same day the Virginia Convention passed the Ordinance of Secession. The Wythe Grays became Company A of the Fourth Virginia Infantry Regiment on June 1 when the regiment was officially organized and mustered into the Confederate Army. The First Brigade of Virginia was formed soon after...
Baptism of Fire: The Brigade arrived at Manassas Junction on Saturday, July 20 in the late afternoon. They marched into position at the right of the Confederate line, in support of General Longstreet's Brigade, which formed the extreme Confederate right near Blacksburn's Ford of Bull Run. The First Brigade of Virginia slept on its arms on Saturday night and was awakened by cannon fire around 4:30am Sunday morning. The Brigade quickly formed into a line of battle and then proceeded to wait for approximately three hours. Around 7:30am, the Brigade was ordered into a marching column and, then headed for the Confederate left at the double-quick. After double-quicking for over two hours, the Brigade arrived behind the crest of the Henry Hill House, which was the anchor for the Confederate left. The 2nd, 5th, and 33rd Virginia regiments formed a line of battle behind the crest of the hill, while the 4th and 27th were posted in reserve to support two artillery batteries.
The Federals began an artillery barrage on the Henry House Hill around noon and it proceeded for approximately three hours. During this time, the Brigade could do nothing, except kneel or lie down and pray that a shell or shrapnel would not hit them. Around 3:00pm, the 2nd, 5th, and 33rd were all heavily engaged. The 33rd VA was the first into action when it attacked two Federal batteries, which had opened up fire into the Brigade's left. The three regiments were soon pressed by the continued Federal advance.
At 3:30, Jackson commanded the 4th and 27th to stand and ordered a bayonet charge against the Federal line. The 4th and 27th charged obliquely into the Federal line, "yelling like furies" - thus giving the Yankees their first experience with the "Rebel yell." The charge smashed through the Federal center and the 4th Virginia captured two batteries. The Brigade reformed into a battle line, or at least in some semblance of a battle line, and was engaged in close fighting for nearly one more hour. The Confederate Army continued its counterattack and by the early evening, the Federal army was routed from the field.
The Wythe Grays, Company A, 4th Virginia, suffered 4 killed and 7 wounded. Total casualties for the Fourth Virginia were 31 dead and 100 wounded, which were the highest losses for the First Brigade of Virginia, which was forever after the battle known as the Stonewall Brigade. The Stonewall Brigade's total casualties were 111 killed and 373 wounded out of approximately 2,600 engaged.

Martin Weiser's confederate pension applications report that he was injured July 21, 1861 at the first battle of Manassas while "charging the enemy," being shot through left elbow joint and "disabled to a considerable extent from manual labor," "can't turn hand, can't get it to my mouth even when eating" and was awarded $15 annually. A private bill was even passed in the Virginia legislature supporting his pension application. After this annual applications for disability support stopped.

Martin Weiser's Medal for Valor

© 2009, rev. 2013 Footie Lund