Frederick A. Kullman Papers

Frederick A. Kullman was born in 1843 in Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen, Prussia (current day Germany). His family immigrated to the United States in 1855, settling in Benton County, Missouri. He lived with his father, also named Frederick, and his two brothers, William and Charles. Kullman was one of the first Union volunteers to enlist from Benton County. He served from June 1861 through May 1866, first in the Benton County Battalion, then the 5th Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and finally in the 13th Missouri Cavalry. The 13th Missouri Cavalry organized at St. Louis in September 1864 from veterans of Missouri State Militia regiments. Kullman was a corporal in the 5th MSM Cavalry.

Kullman kept a diary of his service in 1865, recording the conclusion of the American Civil War. In the beginning of the year, Kullman was stationed with the 13th Missouri Cavalry at Rolla. Kullman wrote briefly every few days about the events in his regiment. He recorded scouting and escort details and forage duties along the Big Piney River in Phelps and Texas Counties. On January 17, Kullman was granted a furlough and returned home to visit his parents and friends. In the diary, Kullman describes seeing the opera “Don Juan” at a German Theatre and enjoying the company of several young ladies.1 Kullman’s furlough ended in mid-February, and he returned to the 13th Missouri Cavalry still stationed in Rolla.

The 13th Missouri Cavalry continued to cross the Missouri countryside and Kullman met with his former regiment the 5th Missouri State Militia, at Licking, Missouri. Due to the lack of supplies, on February 27, Kullman and another soldier acted as bushwhackers as they foraged for food, taking eggs and hams from the countryside.2 Union forces would frequently visited homes to gather forage for the army. In some cases, Union troops paid loyal civilians for the property seized. Goods confiscated from rebel families however, were often considered spoils of war.

Most of the entries in Kullman’s diary are short, though he was well informed of national events and noted their significance. On March 4 he wrote, “Abram Linkoln takes the seat for four more years, as President of the U.S.A.”3 One month later he recorded his thoughts about the assassination of President Lincoln, “Sorrow tidings our good, Kind hearted Presedent Abraham Linkoln assassinated. oh! Cruel Murder, may god punish the wretched Rebel that has done the crime.”4 Kullman also noted Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant and other events that signified the end of the War.

Kullman’s diary provides insight to the daily affairs within the 13th Missouri Cavalry and the personal thoughts of a German-American soldier serving in the Civil War. German soldiers played an important role in the Ozarks, participating in several major battles throughout the war. A large majority of German immigrants enlisted in the Union Army as they saw an opportunity to fight for their newly adopted country. Kullman returned to Benton County in 1866, and married Margaretha Barbara Hassfurther, an immigrant from Bavaria. Kullman served as a county judge in Benton County in 1888 and died in 1893.


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  1. Frederick A. Kullman Diary, 1865-1892, R120, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Rolla, Missouri, pg 12.
  2. Frederick A. Kullman Diary, 1865-1892, R120, The STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY of MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER – ROLLA, pg 23.
  3. Frederick A. Kullman Diary, 1865-1892, R120, The STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY of MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER – ROLLA, pg 26.
  4. Frederick A. Kullman Diary, 1865-1892, R120, The STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY of MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER – ROLLA, pg 40.