Michael Wiedrich (b.1820 – d.1899) immigrated to the United States from Alsace-Lorraine, France in 1837. At the start of the Civil War in 1861 he was a shipping clerk for Pratt & Letchworth in Buffalo and served as a captain in the 65th Regiment New York State Militia.
Under authority from the War Department, Wiedrich organized a unit known as Battery I of the 1st New York Artillery or Wiedrich’s Battery. It was composed of 140 men and officers exclusively of German descent. The battery participated in battles at Cross Keys, Freeman’s Ford, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. Other battles included Lookout Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and the Siege of Atlanta. In February 1863 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 15th Artillery. Wiedrich’s unit mustered out (disbanded) in 1865.
Wiedrich returned to Buffalo after the Civil War, where he held several public offices and was involved in the fire insurance business until his death in 1899.
This 1889 newspaper clipping captures the surviving members of the 1st New York Artillery (Wiedrich’s Battery). The clipping is part of a Wiedrich family scrapbook located in the Buffalo History Museum’s Research Library.
The plaster model for the bronze bas-relief of Weidrich’s Battery, which appears on the memorial in the photograph, is on display in the Identity section of the exhibit Neighbors: The People of Erie County exhibit.
Director of Museum Collections
*This article was featured in the Spring 2015 issue of “The Album”
Michael Wiedrich was my great great grandfather..As a child i remember playing with his swords and other Civil War items that the museum has now…i donated a framed battle record to the museum in the 80s..
Michael Wiedrich is also my great great grandfather. I am so honored to have him as an example of courage and devout patriotism in service to his chosen country. I hope, one day, to make my way to Buffalo and visit the museum where I will be able to see, firsthand, the artifacts on display there.
Are you aware that Concordia Cemetery is honoring him on Saturday, Oct 9th, 2021?
i believe my great great grandfather served under him.