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Amand (Albert) J. Gritzner


Amand J. Gritzner, resident at Watertown, Wis., was born July 25, 1836 (date may be incorrect), in the province of Upper Silesia, Prussia. In 1854 he accompanied his parents to America, landing at Hamilton, Canada and going thence to Buffalo and Chicago, reaching the latter in 1855.


In 1856 he went to Watertown and learned the business of a druggist. In 1858 be went to Chicago and entered upon the business of a barber in which he was occupied until his enlistment as a soldier.


Sept. 3, 1860, he enrolled for five years as a musician in the 3d U. S. Infantry Band, proceeding to Newport Barracks, Ky., and was transferred thence to Government Island, N. Y. Harbor. The command was sent thence on the “Star of the South" to Indianola, Texas, and was stationed at Fort Clark, marching to that point 300 miles under the guidance of an Indian.


Five tribes of hostile Indians infested that region and the musicians were assigned to infantry companies and drilled, in order to be qualified to assist when attacked by the redskins. No one was permitted to go more than a mile from camp, where five companies of the 3d U. S. Infantry were stationed. Two companies of U. S. dragoons were stationed at Fort Inge about 50 miles distant. (Known now as “Old Fort Inge.")


About the first of 1861 a massacre of settlers occurred with the loss of their cattle. February 18th, General Twiggs surrendered the U. S. property in Texas to the rebels and soon after the Texas Rangers raised the confederate flag above Fort Clark. The troops were marched to Indianola, shipped on the “Star of the West," went to Havana, Cuba, and thence to be incorporated with the army of the North in defense of the flag.


The roster of battles of Mr. Gritzner includes the deathless names of Bull Run, Siege of Yorktown, Gaines' Mills, Malvern Hill, 2d Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and the Siege of Petersburg from February, to the close of the war April 9th, 1865.


This list will tell to all generations the character of the, service in which he was a participant, and he needs no other meed of honor.


At the first Bull Run, where he fought under General Sykes, his canteen and clothing were riddled with balls and he narrowly escaped capture by the "Black Horse Cavalry." He ran the same chances at Chancellorsville, Mine Run and Aquia Creek. He endured all the vicissitudes of war on every field and skirmished countless times from Bull Run to Appomattox, veteranizing in 1864 after four years of service, enlisting in the regular service for three years more.


He was assigned to frontier and post duty, after the close of the war, and received final discharge at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, June 3d, 1867. During his period of service on the Potomac and the Peninsula, he was detailed commonly to the "Stretcher Corps" and performed the duty of bearing the wounded, dead and dying from the battle fields, exposed to all the dangers of active warfare, without the satisfaction of returning compliments in lead. He was also detailed to dress wounds and became so expert that he was in frequent demand as assistant at the amputating tables. He suffered severe sickness from typhoid fever at Fort Hamilton in 1864 and nearly lost his life.


After leaving the army he went to Watertown and opened his business as a barber in which he has since continued, assisted by his only son, Max William. He was married Feb. 20, 1868, to Mrs. Bernardina (Baurichter) Seeburg, widow of Peter Seeburg. He is a member of O. D. Pease Post No. 94, at Watertown.


Soldiers’ and Citizens’ Album of Biographical Record, Chicago, Grand Army Publishing Co, 1890, pp 353-4.


Barber shop at 1 E. Main (1889 Watertown City Dir)



AMAND GRITZNER, proprietor of barber shop; came to America from Silesia, Prussia, in 1854, where he had been a musician, but learned the barber trade, after he came to the United States and has since followed it.  He married Miss Berdener Seaberg, of West Farland, Germany, in 1868, by whom he has one child, whose name is Max, now 9 years of age.  He, his wife and son, are members of the Catholic Church.  Mr. Gritzner has been a member of the Temple of Honor since 1877; was in the 3d United States Regulars for seven years, from 1861 to 1867; was mustered out of the service at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1867, when he returned to Watertown and continued his trade.


The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company.  1879.



Watertown Gazette, 08 03 1916

Albert Gritzner


Albert Gritzner, aged 75 years, died on Thursday of this week at his home on North Second Street.  His wife and eight grown-up children survive him.


Saturday morning his funeral took place from St. Henry’s Church.


The interment was in St. Henry’s Cemetery.