Carl August Strehlow (1842-1900) was, I believe, the uncle of Bertha Strehlow (who married my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger). I first “met” August on the German passenger list for the “Teutonia” bringing the Strehlow family from Hamburg to New York, arriving 6 Jun 1868:
August is 25 years old and traveling with Wilhelmine, Bertha and Hermann Strehlow. He is listed as a “Zimmerman”, or carpenter. Based on his age, who he’s traveling with, and the town he’s from (the Strehlow home town of Wandhagen, Schlawe, Pommern, Prussia), my guess is that he’s the brother of Ferdinand Strehlow. I am continuing my search for proof of this relationship. He may be a cousin.
After arriving in the US, the Strehlow family was living in Polk, Washington County, Wisconsin. The 1870 census shows Ferdinand Strehlow, his wife Wilhelmine, their children Bertha and Hermann and August Strehlow all living together. Ferdinand and August are both listed as “Carpenters”.
Until recently, this was all I knew about August prior to and including 1870. Then my German contact Jörg Schrick got in touch with some news from his friend Jürgen, who has been looking for Strehlow records in the archives in Berlin and online. He found a petition, dated 1 April 1870 in Schlawe, Prussia that outlines Carl August Strehlow’s failure to return from his granted leave abroad, and informs him that if he doesn’t report a “desertion investigation against him will be initiated”:
80) Oeffentliche Aufforderung: (Seite 137)
Der Pionier (Zimmermann) Carl August STREHLOW, am 12. November 1842 zu Wandhagen (Kreis Schlawe) geboren, vom 16. Oktober 1864 bis 31. Juli 1867 bei der 3. Compangnie Pommerschen Pionier-Bataillions No. 2 gedient und bis 17. März 1869 ins Ausland beurlaubt, hat sich bis jetzt von diesem Urlaub nicht zurückgemeldet, und keine Verlängerung desselben beantragt.
Derselbe wird hiermit aufgefordert, sich binnen 3 Monaten im Bureau des königlichen Bezirks-Commandos des 1. Bataillions (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49 zu melden, widirgenfalls die Untersuchung wegen Desertation gegen denselben eingeleitet wird.
Schlawe, den 1. April 1870.
königliches Bataillion (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49.
80) Public summons: (page 137)
The Engineer (Carpenter) Carl August Strehlow, born November 12, 1842 in Wandhagen ( district Schlawe) has served from October 16 1864 through July 31, 1867 at the 3rd company of the Pommeranian Engineer Battalion No. 2. He had been granted leave for foreign country until March 17, 1869 but has not reported back from this leave and has not petitioned extension of it.
Herewith, he is summoned to report to the Office of the Royal District Command of the 1st Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49, within 3 months. In default whereof a desertion investigation against him will be initiated.
Schlawe April 1, 1870
Royal Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49
This tells us so much about when August Strehlow served in the military, what he was doing there, his trade, where he was from, when he was born, and what he did during his service.
Pioneers served in special pioneer batallions. On active service (in the Prussian Army) they moved at the head of marching columns with axes, shovels and pickaxes clearing obstacles or building bridges to open the way for the bulk of the regiment to move through difficult terrain. My great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt was also a carpenter and also such a “Pioneer” in the Prussian Army.