Home | History | Links | Contact Us

Anderson Zouaves Research

Otto Brockhouseur (Brockhouser). Co. F and Co. H. Corporal

In the history of the Great Rebellion, immigrants wanting the full benefits granted to citizenry of the U.S., enlisted in the Federal Army of the Republic.  According to historians such as Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote, Henry Steele Commager and James McPherson , this would be a fast path to becoming American citizens and approximately 12% of all Union Forces were of Germanic descent.  Among these was Otto Brockhouseur born in 1840 to Gotlib and Margarete Brockhouseur in Prussia in 1840. Gotlib left Prussia with Margarete, son Henry (17) and Otto (15) from Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York City on October 26, 1847.  According to records, Gotlib worked as a laborer, Otto was employed as a butcher, and Henry was employed as a grocer. 

On June 30, 1861, Otto Brockhouseur enlisted with the 62d New York Volunteers and was mustered into Co. F on  July 3,  1861.  He was transferred the same day to Co. H.  According to his enlistment record, he was 5’2’’ tall, dark brown hair, hazel eyes and with fair complexion . 

He re-enlisted as a veteran on January 1st  and was promoted to a full Corporal on June 3, 1864.  Apparently he received no serious wounds and was mustered out with the rest of the Regiment on August 30, 1865. 

It seems that Otto was bitten with the gold and silver “bugs” and by 1867 he was living in California where the state census has his occupation listed as a miner.  Between 1867 and 1876, Otto searched for gold and silver moving between California and Nevada.  He became a naturalized citizen in 1880, and his first known recorded California voter’s registration was signed in 1886. He later registered to vote in California in 1892 and had, as an identifying feature, a scar over his right eye. The 1900 Federal Census has him living in Plumas County, California, with his marital status was “Single.”  Gold had been found in the region the 1840s which started a rush which lasted until the early 1900s. 

No information of any kind could be found regarding the death of Otto Brockhouseur or where he might have been laid to rest.  It was not unusual for small mining communities not to maintain these types of records once the town began to lose population. 

If anyone has any additional information regarding Otto Brockhouseur of the 62d, please contact me at this website.

Research article by Joe Basso.