War of 1812

Lt. Col. Michael Wiedrich


Painting of Col. Michael Wiedrich, by A. E. Elsasser, 1892. From the TBHM Collection.

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.


Presentation Sword, 1864. The sword’s scabbard is inscribed, “Presented to Lt. Col. Michael Wiedrich by Battery 1, 1st N.Y. Art. May 21, 1864,” it also lists the various battles the unit was engaged in during the Civil War. From TBHM collection.


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.


Dedication of Wiedrich’s Battery Monument at Gettysburg, PA 1889.

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.

Walt Mayer
Director of  Museum Collections

*This article was featured in the Spring 2015 issue of “The Album”

Greetings Military History Enthusiasts!

Last fall, to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Museum  premiered “By Fire & Sword: War in the Niagara Theatre.”   This exhibit focuses on the Niagara Frontier’s role in one of our nation’s most  formative military engagements.

Marketing Associate, Jen LaBella, demos one of the tablets.

Marketing Associate, Jen LaBella, demos one of the tablets.

This exhibit is the Museum’s most modern and interactive to date. Inside, Google Nexus tablets will use military re-enactments and green screen technology to guide guests through the nearly two and a half year campaign.

Historical narrators featured include Laura Secord, Cyrenius Chapin, General McClure, and more. The technology driving By Fire & Sword is a collaborative effort between The Buffalo History Museum and Canisius College and is funded by the Perry Memorial Fund.

Tony Greco with ceremonial headress

Tony Greco with ceremonial headress

I wish that I had the ability to see the Museum again for the first time. So much has changed. The impact and optimism of that change has grown exponentially in the community. We hope to see you will stop in for a visit. We think you’ll be happy you did.

Anthony Greco
Director of  Exhibits & Interpretive Planning