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Pvt. Jacob Goelzer
Company G

This biography was written by Thomas Mueller and generously shared with the 28th Wisconsin website.

Pvt. Jacob H. Goelzer of Company G of the 28th Wisconsin set up a large farm in Oak Creek soon after the Civil War.

Goelzer and his relatives had a 134-acre farm on what is now West Oakwood Road, on both sides of the railroad tracks and across the street from the Oakwood Depot, according to the 1876 plat map of the Town of Oak Creek. It was one of the largest farms in the township.

Goelzer was a resident of Germantown, Wis. when he enlisted in Company G on Aug. 21, 1862. Goelzer was born in 1840, so he was age 21 or 22 at the time of enlistment.

One account of Goelzer's combat was described in the journal of Pvt. James B. Lockney of Company G on March 31, 1864, during the march to Pine Bluff, Ark.:

"We had the sad job of burying the body of Thomas Greene of our Co. before starting yesterday PM. Goelzer & he, Chas. Finley & Gill were on picket when the Rebs advanced, but all made their way safely to the command, Gill coming in early without his hat before any of the others. Greene took his place in a corn house with others & was firing bravely, when a ball hit one of the logs, glanced & struck him about two inches below the left breast or nipple, nearly penetrating the body & said to go through the left lung.

"Some said his first exclamation was ' O! Lord' & fell flat on the corn on which he rested while firing. I saw him after the fight about 2 hours after he was struck. He did not know me but was moaning faintly. I laid my right hand on his left one, rapidly growing cold & bloodless, & he died about an hour afterward."

This account is at (the author's name is spelled Loughney on this site and in the Wisconsin roster of soldiers). Greene's name is spelled Green in the Wisconsin roster, and he was from Genesee. Charles Gill was from Vernon and Charles Finley from Muskego. Loughney was from New Berlin.

Goelzer, Lockney and most of the rest of the unit were mustered out on Aug. 23, 1865.

Goelzer died in 1882. He and many other relatives are buried in the Independent Cemetery behind St. John's Lutheran Church in Oak Creek, about one mile to the west of his farm.

The Goelzer clan's large house still stands, on Hummingbird Lane in the Oakwood Terrace subdivision that was built around it in the early 1990s.

Editor's note: The author of this article, Tom Mueller, lives a half-mile to the east of the Goelzer farmhouse and was thrilled to find and research the story of his neighbor. Mueller is a local and Department officer of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and a four-time book author, whose topics often include the Civil War. His author website is

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