GEORGE AND JOSEPH WINKLER, BROTHERS, CO. D 120th OHIO

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This grouping consists of three images relating to the Winkler brothers of the 120th Ohio Volunteers. There were four Winklers in the regiment, but only two were brothers: George and Joseph Winkler, both of Co. D. (A third in Co. D was presumably related in some way, but was not a brother.) One of the images is a large format outdoor photograph of roughly 70 veterans of the 120th Ohio posed seated and standing in four rows on a slope with a brick house at left rear. At lower left “120th O.V.I.” is written in the negative and at lower right, “June 5th ‘00” and “Schwan,” who was a photographer in Mansfield, Ohio, where the regiment was raised. The clarity and tones are excellent. All the men seem to be wearing reunion ribbons. All the men but two have removed their hats for the photo and are clearly shown except for one fellow at the very right, who has not leaned far enough into the photographer’s shot. In the rear rank the second and third men from right each had an “X” drawn over their heads and in the right margin of the gray card mount they are identified. The writing is faded and there is a tear to the mount, but the name “George Winkler” can be made out and they bear a family resemblance.

From their dates of enlistment it looks like George (the younger, age 20) enlisted first, on 8/19/62, followed by Joseph (age 24) on 9/22/62. They were both mustered in as privates when the regiment entered U.S. service on 10/15/62. The regiment served in the 13th and 19th Army Corps, taking part in the Vicksburg Campaign, coming under fire at Chickaw Bayou and seeing action at Arkansas Post and Port Gibson, Jackson. In May 1864 in Louisiana some 185 men of the regiment were captured on the Red River when their transport, a packet boat named the City Belle, was attacked, its boiler pierced by an artillery shell, and the men forced to abandon the boat. The Winklers do not appear among those captured.

In November the regiment was consolidated with the 114th Ohio, and George is listed as transferring to Co. E of that regiment on 11/27/64, and then transferring again to the 48th Ohio 7/24/65, from which he mustered out 10/14/65. Joseph shows up in records as transferring into the VRC (163rd Company, 2nd Battalion,) but with no date attached and likely before the 120th was amalgamated with the 114th.

The 120th lost 2 officers and 6 enlistedmen killed or mortally wounded and CWData lists 24 occasions when they incurred casualties of some sort during their service. The 114th Ohio, after George Winkler joined it, took part in several expeditions as part of the Army and Department of the Gulf, including the expedition to Morganza, La., in December 1864, and mustered out 7/31/65 at Houston, TX, after George had transferred to the 48th. Both Joseph and George were farmers after the war. Joseph died in 1918 and George in 1919.

The second image in the group is a “sun drawing” or “crayon drawing,” an enlargment from a period tintype showing a seated young soldier from the knees up, wearing an enlisted infantry frock coat and holding a musket across his chest. It is not clear if this is George or Joseph. The similarity of his nose hints it is one of them, but he could be a relative. He wears a light-colored tasseled cap with a turned-up brim, with button and laced buttonhole, like those worn by the Piatt Zouaves, 34th Ohio, but we find no Winklers in that regiment, and the frock coat would be a little unusual for them - most images showing that hat also show a jacket. The 1890 veterans schedule suggests that George first served in the 3-months 16th Ohio, and it is possible some of them may have adopted the cap, but other records don’t confirm George’s service even in that unit and the veterans’ schedule also gets the designation of the 120th wrong, though it does get his service dates right. It is an impressive image of an early-war Union soldier in any case.

The third image came with the other two and is framed liked crayon portrait and is also an enlargement of photograph, showing a young man likely about 1900 from the style of dress. Both George and Joseph had sons that would be about the right age, however, so it does not help determine in which family the images descended.

This is an interesting group and the reunion photo may yield more identifications through comparisons with other photos of veterans of the regiment. The reunion image has a tear on the lower right of the mount in the area of the written names, but does not affect the image. The crayon portrait of the soldier has some spotting at lower left and upper right. [sr]  [ph:L]

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