Wier, Joseph

176th New York Infantry
Private, Company D
1st Sergeant Company K
Middle Island

Joseph Wier
176th New York Volunteer Infantry
Private Company D
1st Sergeant Company K

Joseph Wier was born on January 27, 1844 at Newburg, New York. He was working as a clerk when the war began.
On September 4, 1862 Colonel Charles Gould received permission to recruit a regiment called the " Ironsides " for a period of three years. This regiment would be designated as the 176th New York Volunteer Infantry.

Joseph Wier enlisted on September 9, 1862 at New York City for a period of 3 years. Wier was 19 years of age, stood 5'7" tall, and had blue eyes and brown hair when he enlisted in Company D.

After a three month training period the regiment left New York on January 13, 1863. The regiment was loaded on the transport Alice Connor, and arrived at New Orleans on February 17, 1863. The regiment was assigned to the Department of the Gulf under General Nathaniel Banks. Company D. was detailed as a provost guard at the Parish of La Fourche, Louisiana.

On May 4th, 55 members of company D reported to the regiment at Tigerville. Wier remained at Thibodeaux and on June 20th was attacked by Confederate forces, which captured ten men including Wier. The rest of the company was forced to pull back to La Fourche Crossing and June 21st the Company participated in the battle of La Fourche Crossing and lost 6 men. On June 23rd the Confederates attacked again and over 400 men from the regiment were reported as being taken prisoner.

General Banks, who was in charge of the Gulf forces made the following official report of the incident:

During the investment and siege of Port Hudson, the enemy west of the Mississippi had been concentrating, and on June 18 one regiment of infantry and two of cavalry, under command of Colonel [J. P.] Major, captured and burned two of our small steamers at Plaquemine, taking 68 prisoners, mostly convalescents of the Twenty-eighth Maine Volunteers. The same force then passed down the river and Bayou La Fourche, avoiding Donaldsonville, and attacked our forces on the 20th at La Fourche Crossing, on the Opelousas Railway, cutting off communication between Brashear City and New Orleans. They were, however, finally repulsed, but renewed their attack on the 21st, which resulted in their again being repulsed, leaving 53 of their dead upon the field and 16 prisoners in our hands. Our loss was 8 killed and 16 wounded. Re-enforcements were sent from New Orleans, but the enemy did not renew the attack. Our forces were under command of Lieut. Col. Albert Stickney, Forty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers. Subsequently they fell back to Algiers.
Orders had been sent to Brashear City to remove all stores, and hold the position, with the aid of the gunboats, to the last; but the enemy succeeded in crossing Grand Lake by means of rafts, and surprised and captured the garrison June 22 [23], consisting of about 300 men, two 30-pounder Parrott guns, and six 24-pounders. The enemy, greatly increased in numbers, then attacked the works at Donaldsonville, on the Mississippi, which were defended by a garrison of 225 men, including convalescents, commanded by Maj. J. D. Bullen, Twenty-eighth Maine Volunteers.

Joseph Wier remained a prisoner until August 17, 1863 when he was paroled in a prisoner exchange. On October 26, 1863 Wier was transferred to the newly formed Company K, where he was promoted to 1st Sergeant.

In December he was reported as absent, attending a general court martial as a witness. He remained with the regiment at Madisonville for January and February. On February 15, 1864 Wier was discharged by expiration of his term of service. Wier had seen enough of war and did not reenlist. After his discharge he returned home to New York until 1867, when he moved to Cincinnati Ohio. While in Ohio he met and married Mary Cook. The marriage produced a daughter, Maud, but ended in divorce in 1872. Wier moved back to New York where he remained until moving to Missouri in 1877. Slowed by an ailing heart, Wier moved to the National Soldier's Home in Indiana in 1892. In 1894 he moved to the National Soldier's Home in Kansas.

These homes were for veterans suffering from service injuries or who were unable to take care of themselves. A farm and workshops were usually attached to these homes as they tried to be as self sufficient as possible. While at the soldier's home in Kansas, Wier met and married Orilla Habert on October 20, 1896. The couple left the soldiers home after the marriage and returned to live in New York City where Wier died on December 29, 1926.

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