Private John Peter Hansen (Hanson)
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
John Peter Hansen (whose name appears on the official roster as Hanson) was one of the many "Germans" who signed up to defend the unity of his adopted country. (The roster cites Germany as the location of his nativity, but the newspaper article quoted below identifies it as Luxemburg.) A nineteen year old native of Dubuque, he was mustered into Union forces on October 7, 1861. He would serve for the duration of the war, mustering out on May 30, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.
Hansen had the misfortune of being captured not once, but twice. He was taken prisoner on May 5, 1862, at Lockridge's Mill, Tennessee. He returned to his company on June 7, 1862. He was captured again on July 31, 1864, at Newnan, Georgia.
Fortunately Hansen survived both combat and capture, to live a fruitful life. Unfortunately, the postwar years were marred by the consequences of his illness during his confinement. The following obituary, from the January 3, 1892 issue of the Sunday Dubuque Herald outlines some of the highlights of Hansen's life.
The funeral of the late J.P. Hansen, mention of whose death Thursday morning was made in the Herald of Friday, will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock, from the family residence, corner of eleventh and White streets, to Linwood cemetery. The funeral will be under the auspices of Lookout Post, G.A.R, of which Deceased was a charter member. The governor's Greys will furnish a detail for escort and to act as a firing squad.
Very special thanks to Ellen Elliott, great-grandniece of this proud veteran of the Fifth Iowa. Her great grandmother was Catherine Hansen Seemon Theis, his sister.