Corporal Charles Rothe
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
Charles Rothe enlisted on September 18, 1861 in Company F of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. A twenty-four year old German immigrant and resident of Fort Madison, Iowa, his maturity led to his swift promotion. Rothe became a Seventh Corporal on January 9, 1862. He was promoted to Sixth Corporal on June 27, 1862, Fifth Corporal on January 16, 1863, Fourth Corporal on May 17, 1863, and Third Corporal on an unspecified date.
He reenlisted on January 14, 1864, and was promoted to Second Corporal on April 19, 1864. Rothe was taken prisoner on July 31, 1864. Following his return to the regiment, he was promoted to First Corporal on November 1, 1864, in which grade he ended his military service. Rothe was mustered out with the regiment on June 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.
We have access to additional information about Rothe, which was recorded on his application for membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. On May 30, 1885, he applied for membership in the Corporal Dix Post of the GAR in Missouri. He cited his age at the time as fifty and his occupation as laborer. The most interesting thing on the form is Rothe's statement that the reason for his discharge in 1865 was actually "disability."
Additional information on the form includes the name of the Post Commander, Heiny, his sponsor, McCall, and the three men on his Examining Committee, Browne, Kenner, Brooks. The Fifth Iowa regimental website also has obtained an application form for Private John Still of the Fifth Iowa Infantry.
Thank you to Elaine Doak, Special Collections Librarian at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri for the image of Still's GAR application.