A ceremony at the Memphis Cemetery was held Monday, September 23, 2019 to pay tribute to Civil War Union Colonel Edward A. Kutzner. He was a charter member and Chaplain of the Grand Army of the Republic’s (GAR) Post in Memphis. GAR’s membership reached its peak in 1890, when over 400,000 members were reported. Five U.S. Presidents were enrolled: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, and McKinley.
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) member, Kris Lancaster paid tribute to Colonel Kutzner by presenting a GAR grave marker. He also recognized Kutzner’s oldest living descendant, Verlee Chambers Dauma. Dauma is 98-years old and was honored for her four decades of genealogy research experience.
Other descendants include Mark Kutzner of Colorado Springs, CO, Pam Jenkins Jensen of Bloomfield, IA, Betty Lodewegen, and Oleva Frederick, both of Memphis.
Lancaster said, “We don’t want the memories of our Civil War ancestors to fade away. Today’s effort shines light on Colonel Kutzner and many other Civil War soldiers buried in Scotland County and northeast Missouri.” Northeast Missouri is rich in Civil War history. Many residents have ancestors who fought in local battles and skirmishes during the Civil War.
The Honor Guard including VFW Past Commander of Monmouth, IL, Jon Dauma, VFW Post 4958 Commander Lloyd Erickson of Memphis, Lancaster and Missouri Civl War Re-enactor Paul Tague of Gorin presented arms and fired a salute.
The SUVCW was organized in 1881 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1954, the legal successor to the GAR. The organization is dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of heroes who fought and worked to save the Union. It is one of five Allied Orders of the GAR. The other four Orders are: Ladies of the GAR, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the SUVCW, and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Colonel Kutzner was born in Northumberland County, PA., January 1, 1809 and died January 17, 1900. A funeral service was held at the Methodist Episcopal Church, Memphis. GAR members participated in the funeral service.
Kutzner moved to Memphis, Missouri in 1861 and soon after enlisted. He was ordered by General Curtis to organize a regiment of soldiers known as the 29th Enrolled Missouri Militia. Afterwards, he raised the 39th Missouri Regiment. The men who joined the 39th Missouri were from northeast Missouri, specifically Adair, Marion, Pike, Ralls, Knox, Shelby, Scotland, and Monroe counties. Under the command of Colonel Edward A. Kutzner, the regiment’s first series of campaigns were against guerrillas around the North Missouri Railroad. The North Missouri Railroad was a key target for guerrillas, because of it being a major supply and communication line.
According to information shared by Milton Clary of Memphis, whose ancestor, Samuel Clary also served in the 39th Regiment, the troop was organized out of Hannibal beginning August 18, 1864.
According to the Boone County Historical Society, the 39th was on the wrong end of the Battle of Centralia in late September 1864, when ambushed by Confederate forces under the lead of “Bloody” Bill Anderson and likely including both famous outlaws, Frank and Jesse James.
Kutzner later led the 39th on to Jefferson City to take part in defense of the state capital before being ordered into action in Tennessee later in Decmeber.
In official correspondence by Kutzner, the battle casualties included two officers and 114 enlisted men.
Kutzner was sent into Tennessee to fight General Hood’s Army. He was mustered out at the close of the Civil War in St. Louis, MO.
Before the Civil War, he was a Major in the Pennsylvania Militia. Kutzner’s grandfather Michael Sr., came to America in 1752 and wove cloth for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Skilled weavers were scarce in Colonial America.