Otto Igel to Richard Yates


Otto Igel to Richard Yates


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum




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Chicago June 19th 1861

His Excellency

Richard Yates

Governor of the State of Illinois



Some time ago I send a letter to the Right Honorable F. A. Hoffmann, Lieutenant Governor of this State, in which I offered my service to the State in any situation he or Your Excellency may see fit to place me. I did not like to join one of the Volunteer Regiments, as I have a very good business situation & a family depending from my earnings, so that I had no time to raise a Company; besides, I am not satisfied with the elections of officers in a great many volunteer regiments which seldom have elected the right men.

The latest news show my presumption being right & that the country is very much in need of experienced officers.

I have a short sketch of my life in my letter to the Right Honorable F. A. Hoffman, but in this critical period I consider it my duty to my adopted country, to communicate to You the following facts:

I was born in the year 1826 in the City of Luxembourg, where my father was commander of the Prussian Artillery; in the spring of 1844 I entered the Prussian army in the 30th Regiment of Infantry, was promoted 1846 lieutenant in the same Regiment, fought all the battles in the Revolution of 48 & 49 & therefore got decorated by the Grand Duke of Baden with the Zachringer Loewen Order; In 1853 I resigned my office on Account of not being able to give the required security to get married & came to this country. I started first in St. Louis a Alcohol Distillery & lived there till 1858, when I failed in business on account of the hard times & went to this city, where I reside since that time. I am now travelling agent for Mr. Theodore Kraefft 77 South Water street, to whom & many other leading merchants here & in St. Louis I can refer You.

From the above statement Your Excellency can see if my service could be of any use to my adopted country & I am willing & ready every minute to serve the State to the best of my ability. I have further to remark to You that I made myself acquainted with the American tactics.

I hope Your Excellency will excuse my liberty of addressing You in this matter & if You need my service please direct Your ordres care of Theodore Kraefft to

Your humble servant

Otto Igel

Otto Igel.

Tendering services.




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“Otto Igel to Richard Yates ,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed May 28, 2020,