Saturday, March 15, 2014

Genealogy Family Profile: Friedrich Paul Schmidt and Auguste Leitsch

Private Friedrich Paul Schmidt, CSA and Auguste Leitsch


Meet Private Friedrich Paul Schmidt, CSA and Auguste Leitsch. They are  my 1st Great Grandparents (Photo from family collection of Larry Van Horn)

Friedrich Paul Schmidt, commonly called "Paul," son of Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and Wilhelmine Chrisitiane Ullrich (their Genealogy Family Profile is on this blog at, was born February 22, 1837, in Frankenhausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and died December 26, 1921, at Smithville. He was buried in Brushy Creek Cemetery, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church at String Prairie, Bastrop County, Texas (Find-A-Grave #37358914).

Paul was nine years old when his parents immigrated to Texas and must have found the journey quite an adventure in spite of the hardships travelers faced in those days. He grew up in Seguin and probably received his schooling there. Other than being listed in the 1850 census with his parents, his name does not appear in the public records of Seguin during this period of his life. It is interesting to note he is listed as "Powell" on the 1850 census, indicating the way "Paul" was pronounced.

After the family moved to Comal County, Paul appears on the tax rolls in 1860 when his father and he were jointly taxed for 37 cows and 150 acres of land. On August 30, 1860, he registered a mark and brand in New Braunfels (page 420 #55).

On February 23, 1861, Comal County voted 239 to 86 for Secession from the United States. Later that same year, Paul enlisted in Henry McCullough's Regiment of Cavalry, serving about 12 months (His military page in my Hall of Heroes appears here).

In August 1862 Paul enlisted in Company K, 3rd Regiment, Texas Infantry under Captain Julius Bose and was enrolled at Camp Terry on the Colorado, eight miles south of Austin and two miles above the mouth of Onion Creek. He remained with this unit until he was paroled on September 2, 1865 at New Braunfels.

The company's activities during the war can be traced through the letters of Captain Bose and other news items printed in the Neu-Branfelser Zeitung throughout the war. The unit was temporarily stationed at San Antonio at Camp Herbet until early 1863, when they marched to Fort brown on the Rio Grande. The journey took five months.

In late June they moved through Columbus on their way to Galveston or some other point on the Texas coast. By December 1863, the regiment had been ordered to West Texas and was located at Camp Lubbock. Captain Bose letters record some of their activities, but mentioned no engagements up to this point.

On May 6, 1864, from Camp near Camden, Arkansas, Captain Bose reported on the Battle of Jenkins Ferry, which his unit had participated in April. The company had been assigned to Scurry's Brigade at Shreveport and were ordered to go to Camden, then held by Federal troops under General Steele. Arriving near Camden, they found the enemy had fled. During the night, the Confederate troops built pontoons they used to cross the Ouachita River. The solders were ordered to take a blanket, 40 cartridges, and rations for two days, but were unable to bake enough cornbread for two days with the utensils they had with them. Bose said their wagons did not arrive till well into the night.

They followed the enemy to Princeton and had stopped to rest when a storm blew up, soaking them. The next 17 miles to the Sabine Bottom - where the battle was in progress - was marched in a constant rain, frequently wading in hip-deep water. Some of the men lost their shoes in the mire. The men formed a battle line at 400 yards from the enemy lines, which opened fire. With a "Texas Yell," the 2000 rebels charged, only to find themselves confronted by 7000 enemy. Scurry attempted to turn his men back in the face of such odds, but "our regiment saw its advantageous position and charged forward thereby earning the praise of the entire brigade..." Of the Comal County company, one was killed and four received flesh wounds. Their next destination was Little Rock.

In December 1864, Captain Bose wrote from Camp between Shreveport and Minden, Louisiana, detailing the hardships they had faced due to rain and cold. The company had received a box of clothing and medicine sent by the people of New Braunfels for which they were most grateful, promising to participate in the first round dance at the end of the war. "There also were special packages for Sarasin, Stoetzner, Heimer, Gass, Nehls, Metz, Wesch, Schmidt, Pfeiffer, Boerner, Kraetzer, Rauch, Donsbach, Friesenhahn, Butz, Fromme, and me."

The war continued into the following year, but on April 9, Lee surrendered at Appomattox to Grant, and on April 26, Johnston surrendered to Sherman. By May 26, the last Confederate troops had surrendered, and as stated above, on September 2, 1865, Paul Schmidt received his parole at New Braunfels, as did other soldiers and officers of the Confederate Army. The men were probably glad to get back to a normal life.

In 1914 Paul was granted a pension (#28887) by the State of Texas for his service and he continued to draw the pension until he died.

Paul Schmidt after the civil war (Photo from the family collection of Larry Van Horn)

After the war, Paul returned home and engaged in farming. On December 31, 1866, he was married to Miss Auguste Leitsch by the Reverend August Schuchard, pastor of what is now the First Protestant Church (Church of Christ) in New Braunfels. The marriage was recorded in the church and county records. The old church record books are still held by the church, but a four volume, indexed, typewritten transcript entitled Kirchenuch der Protestantischen Gemeinde Neu Braunfels, Texas is deposited in the University of Texas Archives in Austin. The transcript was made in 1938 and 1939 as part of the WPA historical records work project.

Auguste Leitsch and came to Texas with her parents about 1852. She died at Rosanky on January 9, 1930, and is buried beside her husband (Find-A-Grave Memorial #37358910).
We know very little about Andreas Leitsch, the father of Auguste Leitsch-Schmidt, and nothing at all about his relatives. He married Justine Ludwig, probably about 1848. Auguste Leitsch is their only known child, was born December 10, 1849 according to her death certificate, in Tegwitz (or Tegnitz), probably in Sachsen-Altenburg.
Tradition says that Andreas became ill and died soon after their arrival in 1852. No passenger list has been found nor has the name of the ship been determined. His widow, with her daughter, made their way to New Braunfels where on September 11, 1853, she married Michael Heimer, a widower with two small children. Robert Heimer, a grandson of Michael's first marriage said that Michael had immigrated on the same ship as the Leitsch family, and that his first wife died at Victoria, as did Andreas Leitsch. Both died of yellow fever.
In census records and in church records, both Michael and his second wife are listed as natives of Saxe-Altenburg. Michael's oldest child, however, was not born in the same village as Auguste Leitsch was. A search of place names in Germany showed only one town with a name similiar to "Tegwitz" listed in Mullers Grosses Deutsche Ortsbuch (1958 edition). The town, actually a small village, is Tegkwitz with 531 people, near Altenburg in present Bezirke Leipzig, Germany (former East Germany), located 3 km from Kostitz and 6 km from Grossroda, which are also listed as villages near Altenburg.
Altenburg itself was a market town from as early as the 1125-1165 period. It lies about 40 km south of Leipzig in the Central Uplands. Through this area ran the historic frontier between the Germans and the Slavs, established by Charles the Great, King of the Franks from 771 to 814. In the 12th century, the region was ruled by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony. The portion surrounding Altenburg later became known as Sachsen-Altenburg, taking its name from the principal city.
An examination of the church records of central Europe (incomplete) that are recorded on microfiche as of October 1976 in the LDS Stake Library revealed no Leitsch entries, but there were numerous entries for the spellings Leisch, Leish and Leich (however, none in Tegkwitz). It is possible the spelling in the Texas records is incorrect, but since "Leitsch" is used in both the church and the county records here, that is the one followed in this account.
Not very much is known about Justine Ludwig, Andreas Leitsch's widow. She is known as "Gustine" on the county marriage records and as "Auguste" on the 1860 census. She was born about 1826 in Saxe-Altenburg, the town not given. She seems to have died between 1870 and 1880 as she is not listed on the 1880 census. No marked grave has been located. Ludwig is not an uncommon surname in Germany and there were in fact several families of this name who immigrated to Texas.
Auguste Leitsch probably grew up in Comal County as her stepfather is listed in the tax rolls beginning in 1853, and on subsequent censuses through 1880. According to Robert Heimer, Michael brought a ranch at Crane's Mill, now the community of Canyon Dam. The tax rolls during the 1880s show he owned 275 acres in the M. Bosque survey and 320 acres of school land.
Michael Heimer was granted citzendship in the District Court at New Braunfels, in the fall of 1858, on the affidavits of John Heilmann and georg Friedrich Kunz, who said they had known him for five years past during which time he had been aresident of the United States of AMerica. Michael renounced his allegiance to every foreign prince, particularly to the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, of whom he had been a subject.
In the 1860 census, Michael was listed as a farmer with $800 worth of real estate and $630 worth of personal estate. His eldest son was listed as a wagoner. Robert Heimer said that Michael had been a tailor in the old country, but he appears to have remained a farmer the rest of his life in Texas. His exact date of death is not known, bit it may have occurred about 1888, the last year he appears on the tax rolls. He was not listed in the 1900 census.
According to the 1920 Federal Population Census Schedule, neither Paul or Augusta were naturalized citizens.

By 1869 Friedrich Paul Schmidt was taxed for 10 horses, 24 cows and 80 sheep. He also paid a poll tax that year, but was not taxed for land. As previously shown, he and his young family were living with his parents in 1870, and it was during that same year that his father transferred 150 acres of the E. Dale survey to Paul. This portion of land probably included the house.

Paul and Auguste continued to live near New Braunfels until about 1878 when they bought 160 acres in Guadalupe County. They sold this land in 1882 (Deed Book U-447), but purchased 100 acres from Philip Alston on December 28, 1883 out of the Patrick Lynch League in Guadalupe County on the Sandies Creek about 25 miles from the town of Gonzales (Deed Book 1-350).

On November 27, 1882, Paul Schmidt, a resident of Guadalupe County registered a brand and mark (p 163).

The land on the Sandies Creek was sold on November 20, 1889 (Deed Book 6-48), but they continued to live in the county until after 1893 when Paul was assessed taxes on a wagon, six horses, 10 cows and seven hogs. He paid a poll tax, but was not taxed for land.

On July 20, 1896, Paul bought 150 acres of land in Bastrop County in the S.H. Reid survey, about 24 miles south of the town of Bastrop, near present String Prairie (Bastrop County Deed Book 35, page 353). Here he farmed and taught school. He paid taxes on the land in 1897 and 1898, and still owned the land when he died in 1921, when it was listed in his inventory as community property, 150 acres, part of the R.H. Reid survey and valued at $1500.00.

He had a written will on December 7, 1908, and it was probated on November 18, 1922. It was recorded in Minute Book N, page 466, Bastrop County, Texas estate #1478.

According to the 1920 Federal Census Population Schedule, neither Paul or Augusta were naturalized citizens.

Paul and Auguste had 11 known children listed below:

1. Frank Schmidt
Birth 29 Oct 1867 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage       1896 Emma Elizabeth Griffin (b. 17 Jul 1867, d. 13 Feb 1954), daughter of George Little Griffin and Amanda Jane Summers
Death 22 Oct 1937 Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.
Burial 24 Oct 1937 Brookside Memorial Park, Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.

2. William Schmidt
Birth 12 Nov 1870 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage       1907 Emma --?-- (b. 1886)
Death 26 Mar 1961 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

3. Charles H. Schmidt
Birth 12 Sep 1872 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Death 27 Feb 1959 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.
Burial 1 Mar 1959 Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

4. Emilie Schmidt
Birth 25 Dec 1873 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage circa __ ___ 1894 Ferdinand Joseph Seideman (b. 17 Jan 1870, d. 27 Oct 1948), son of Peter Seideman and Jennie V. Hosziager
Death 2 Apr 1948 Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States.
Burial 3 Apr 1948 Rose Hill Cemtery, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States.

5. Albert George Schmidt
Birth 1 Jan 1876 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage __ ___ 1901 Matilda Margaret Behring (b. 4 Oct 1885, d. 22 Aug 1956), daughter of August Behring
Marriage __ ___ 1918 Emelia Caroline Grohman (b. 1 Aug 1884, d. 30 Dec 1961), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Texas, United States.
Death 13 Apr 1944 509 Pleasanton Road, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 15 Apr 1944 Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

6. Max Emil Schmidt
Birth 25 Oct 1879 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 15 Apr 1902 Mary Emma Grohman (b. 23 Jan 1883, d. 20 Oct 1974), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 2 Mar 1932 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 4 Mar 1932 San Fernando Cemetery #2, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

*7. Henry James Schmidt (This is my maternal grandfather)
Birth  16 Dec 1882 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 16 Feb 1904 Lillian Margaret Grohman (b. 1 Jul 1886, d. 14 Jul 1911), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
*Marriage 17 Nov 1914 Hattie Grohman (b. 16 Dec 1885, d. 30 Jul 1962), daughter of Charles Grohman and Sarah Frances Smith; Justice of the Peace, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States. (This is my maternal grandmother)
Death 18 Nov 1949 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 19 Nov 1949 San Fernando Cemetery #3, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

8. Louisa P. Schmidt
Birth 21 Apr 1885 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 29 Jul 1907 Frank Zimmerman (b. 23 Jan 1876, d. 17 Jun 1965), son of George Zimmerman and Augusta --?--; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 31 Dec 1979 
Burial     Jan 1980 Hollywood Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.

9. Catherine Schmidt
Birth 9 Feb 1888 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 3 Nov 1907 Frank Kunshick (b. 12 Jan 1880, d. 26 Mar 1958), son of Joseph Kunshick and Theresa Schmidt; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 20 Feb 1962 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.
Burial 22 Feb 1962 Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

10. Augusta Mary Schmidt
Birth 15 Apr 1892 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 17 Feb 1914 Edward Paul Meuth (b. 19 Jun 1893, d. 1 Oct 1972), son of Andrew Edward Meuth and Anna Bruger; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 23 Aug 1962 Brazoria County, Texas, United States.
Burial  25 Aug 1962 Greenlawn Memorial Park, Rosenberg, Fort Bend County, Texas, United States.

11. Edward Schmidt
Birth 5 Sep 1892 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Death 21 Mar 1987 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Marriage  Edna Williams
Divorce   Edna Williams