Saturday, November 19, 2016

Iowa Union Soldier Christian Brenner Buried in Tennessee


I visited Stone's River National Battlefield where Union and Confederate forces fought on December 31, 1862 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Across the road from the battlefield park is the National Cemetery where 6,100 Union soldiers are interred among others. While many of those buried in the cemetery are from the battle, several other buried dead are from area battles or other time periods up to the modern day.

On the white headstone markers are the names of the soldier and the State where he was from. I sought out my state, Iowa since that's where 42N Observations is based. Near a small tree in Lot L, a marker (number 271) stands for the Union soldier Christian Brenner, who served in Iowa 5th Cavalry, Company C. He died on Christmas day, 1864.

From web research on the unit and its history, Christian fought in the Battle of Anthony's Hill (also known as the Battle of King's Hill) just south of Pulaski, Tennessee, two years after the Stone's River battle. Christian was born in 1835 in Hancock County, Ohio. At the time of his death he was married to Sarah J and had one daughter, Mary C. Brenner. The family lived in Clarinda, Iowa. Christian enlisted as a Private on September 28, 1861 at the age of 26 and was mustered on Oct. 2, 1861. He re-enlisted and re-mustered January 14, 1864. Christian transferred to Company C, Fifth Veteran Cavalry Consolidated, on August 8, 1864.

Christian Brenner was killed during the Pulaski battle as the Union troops pursued the fleeing Army of Tennessee following the Battle of Nashville. There is a summary on that battle here. Brenner was initially buried near Pulaski (Giles County, Tennessee) and later re-interred at Stone's River National Cemetery with other soldiers who died at the Pulaski battle. The Iowa 5th Cavalry lost 20 men during the skirmishes around Pulaski.

Brenner served just over three years in the Iowa 5th Cavalry. That unit was involved in several major battles in the western theater and would later conclude in Selma. Following the end of the war, the unit was stationed in Atlanta and Nashville during August 1865 before traveling to Clinton, Iowa where the unit was disbanded.