Apgars in the Civil War

More than 145 members of the Apgar family served in the Union Army, in at least 83 different volunteer infantry, cavalry and artillery regiments, which were raised in at least 11 different states. These men were mostly farmers, laborers and tradesmen (including coopers, printers and a miller). One was a fireman, another was a policeman, at least one was a student, and one listed his occupation as "capitalist".

These Apgar citizen soldiers ranged in age from 15 to 53 years at the time they enlisted. However, most were between 18 and 22 years old. (Like other wars, the American Civil War was started by older men and fought mostly by young men.) The majority of Apgars served as privates, but there were at least 12 corporals, 7 sergeants, 3 lieutenants, 2 captains (one received a brevet as major), and a lieutenant colonel (with a brevet as brigadier general).

Apgars participated in virtually every major campaign of the war. They fought in all of the big battles, from First Bull Run to Appomattox. Apgars were among the casualties at Gaines Mill, Antietam, Stones River, Chancellorsville, Chicamaugua, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Hatcher”s Run and Nashville. They also participated in the defeats at Fredericksburg and Second Bull Run and in the victories at Shiloh, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Atlanta, Wilmington, Bentonville, and Mobile.

The family paid a heavy price in the war. At least 10 Apgars were killed or died of wounds, 17 were wounded (3 of them twice, one later killed in action), 6 were severely injured in the line of duty (and 2 of these died shortly afterwards as a result), 8 died of disease, 13 were POWs, 6 were transferred to the "Invalid Corps", and at least 17 were discharged for disability. More than half of theses Apgar soldiers (or their dependent widows or parents) applied for pensions due to death or disabilities resulting from their military service.

A list of Apgars who served during the war, which is continuously being revised, is posted on the web site. It includes the soldiers” names, their Apgar family identification numbers, their ranks, and the units in which they served. The list also includes the only identified female (a 14-year old hospital nurse/laundress who married a wounded soldier patient) and a former Confederate soldier who defected at the end of the war and later married into the Apgar family. There is also a list of Apgar casualties.

These Apgars helped to win the war, preserving the Union and ridding the nation of slavery. Their sacrifices, as well as the difficult burdens assumed by their families at home.many of whom never saw them again or had to support them when they returned sick, crippled or emotionally impaired, should be recognized and remembered by all members of the Apgar Family.

Fritz Epgert would have been immensely proud to know that a century after raising his own family in America, his descendants would play an important part in preserving the nation his children fought to establish. Apgars living today have good reason to be proud and thankful to those Apgar Civil War soldiers too!

The effort to document and describe the Civil War service of all Apgar Family members continues. The list of Apgar soldiers of the Civil War is undoubtedly incomplete (and may contain a few inaccuracies). Narratives describing the service experiences of many of these soldiers have been written and a book on Apgars in the Civil War is planned.

If you have any information to add to this story (including other soldiers, letters, diaries, photographs, family stories, service or pension records, or any other relevant material), please contact our Family Genealogist or President. We are happy to share what we know.