Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hubert Dilger, born March 5, 1836


Hubert Anton Casimir Dilger was the first child born to Eduard Dilger, a physician in the Black Forest region in Germany. Eduard Dilger was married to Emmeline Duerr, the daughter of Heinrich Duer, an art collector and watchmaker to the grand duke of Baden.  
Emmeline died not long after the birth of Hubert's brother, their third child.  Eduard Dilger  was devastated and thought of putting Hubert in an orphan asylum.  Emmeline's parents took the boy into their household.

When Hubert was 13, his aunt, Marie, married August Lamey, and Hubert moved in with the newlyweds.  August Lamey was professor of law at the Roman Catholic University when Hubert came to live with them.  He later served as minister of the interior and member of the Reichstag.  After his death, a statue was erected in Manheim; it was removed during the Third Reich, some believe because of Lamey's part in legislating civil rights for Jews. 


Hubert was educated in the Karlsruhe Military Academy. He served as a lieutenant in the Grand Duke's Horse Artillery. He developed several innovative theories on artillery tactics and drill. 

He was 25 years old when the Civil War began.



When news came of the outbreak of the American Civil War, Dilger received a leave of absence and sailed to the United States.  After relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio, he became the captain of Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery and fought at several battles of the Army of the Potomac, including under fellow German native General Carl Schurz at the Second Battle of Bull Run.


On May 2, 1863, Dilger fought in the rearguard of the retreating Union army during the Battle of Chancellorsville, for which he eventually was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration in 1893. 
Memorial Plaque at Gettysburg
Dilger also received high praise in the Official Records of the Battle of Gettysburg, and for his work in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. Late in the war, he was on garrison duty.
After receiving his discharge, Dilger married his wife, Elise, in Philadelphia on September 25, 1865.  He took a position as superintendent of construction of a new courthouse at Springfield, Illinios.  From 1869 to 1873 he was  Adjutant-General for the State of Illinois.  

Dilger eventually purchased a horse farm, which he called Greenfield, in the Shenandoah Valley near Front Royal, Virginia, where he raised his family.   Elise gave birth to 14 children; 12 survived to adulthood.

Elise died in 1906 while visiting her daughters in Germany. Hubert died May 4, 1911.  He was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.  
Grave of Hubert Dilger
After his death, a portion of his farm became a remount station for the US Army. 
His son Anton Dilger waged biological warfare for Germany against a still-neutral United States in World War I, infecting horses with anthrax and glanders.
Hubert Dilger was the grandfather of General der Kavallerie Carl-Erik Koehler (1895 – 1958), Generalmajor Hubertus Lamey (1896 – 1981), both of whom served with the Wehrmacht, and Captain Carl Anton Keyser, USNR (1918 - 1995). Captain Keyser served as a Gunnery Officer and later the Executive Officer on board the USS Eberle (DD430) during WW2.

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