|Birth||Aug. 8, 1840|
|Death||Aug. 26, 1923|
|Unit||7th Wisconsin Infantry, Company F|
Private Henry Roepke
Company F, 7th Wisconsin Infantry
Roepke (also called Rupke) was born on August 8, 1840. He was residing in Potosi (Grant County), Wisconsin when he enlisted and was mustered in the regiment on August 19, 1861. Roepke served about 41 months and was mustered out on March 6, 1865.
The 7th Wisconsin Infantry was organized and mustered at Madison on September 2, 1861. The regiment was part of the Iron Brigade of the Army of the Potomac. The unit fought in many major battles and campaigns during the War. The regiment lost 10 officers and 271 enlisted men in combat. In addition, the unit lost 143 men due to disease. The total loss was 424 men. Wikipedia offers additional insight into the incredible losses of the unit. A total of 1,342 men served and nearly 1/3 were lost to combat or disease.
Roepke was taken prisoner on August 28, 1862 at the Battle of Gainville (VA). On that date, the outfit lost 30 soldiers, 127 were wounded, and 14 were taken prisoner. During that part of the War, most prisoners were released via an exchange. The exact time that Roepke was held as a prisoner was not available.
During the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863) the regiment fought on McPherson’s Ridge, Seminary Ridge, and Culp’s Hill. On July 1, 1863 the unit lost 21 soldiers, 117 were wounded, and 21 were taken prisoner.
Private Roepke was wounded on May 5, 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness (VA). Again, the unit suffered heavy casualties. Thirty-three (33) soldiers were killed, 150 were wounded, and 27 were taken prisoner. It is possible that Roepke’s early discharge on March 6, 1865 was the result of his wound. The entire regiment was mustered out on July 2, 1865.
Roepke died on August 26, 1923 at the age of 83 years. He is buried in the Hickman Cemetery in Hickman (Lancaster County), Nebraska. He was the last member of the Sullivan Post (#312) of the Grand Army of the Republic in Hickman.
Doc – Roepke(7WISC).doc
Note: Veteran bios were compiled and written by Dean Podoll.