Sergeant Ernst Torgler

Sergeant Ernst Torgler was born in Germany in 1840 to Ernest and Agusta Torgler, In 1852 his parents emigrated to the United States. The Civil War broke out in 1861 and the following year Torgler enlisted in the Army. He began as a private in Company G of the 37th Ohio Volunteer Regiment. [Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Toledo and Lucas County. (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co., 1895), p.422]. The regiment consisted mostly of German immigrants from Toledo, Cleveland, and Chillicothe. (Toledo Blade, 26 May 1991).

The first action Torgler saw was the siege of Vicksburg in June and July of 1863. Torgler was promoted to corporal following the Union victory in Vicksburg. By the end of the war, Torgler would be a sergeant. In the fall of 1863, he wore the colors at the Battle of Mission Ridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The following year he was with General William Tecumseh Sherman on the Atlanta Campaign in the Summer of 1864. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service at the Battle of Ezra Chapel on July 28, 1864. While his regiment was retreating, he charged through sheets of bullets to rescue Major Hipp. The Major was shot off his horse and was at risk of being captured. Sergeant Torgler saw the danger and saved Major Hipp. Sergeant Torgler was awarded the Medal of Honor for action above and beyond the call of duty.

The war ended in 1865 and three years later Torgler married Augusta Schracker. They were the parents of eleven children. Ernest Torgler was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He lived out his life as a farmer in Point Place, Michigan and died in 1923. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

An interesting postscript is that it was not marked on Torgler's grave that he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 1991, the Army rectified this situation with a presentation on Memorial Day. Congressional Representatives, senators and other dignitaries attended. His great-grandson, George Jackson of Grosse Point, Michigan, now holds his great-grandfather's medal. (Portrait and Biographical Record, p.422).

 

 

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