9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2021 11:31 AM by Marcel Hager

    Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870

    Marcel Hager Wayfarer

      I’m looking for more information on the military service of my direct ancestor, John Hager. Information I have found so far indicates that he immigrated from Germany in 1850 and enlisted in the US Army (Regulars) in 1853 and served in the First Dragoons until 1858.


      He enlisted again in 1860, and was assigned to Company C, First Dragoons, US Army, which was renamed “First Regiment of Cavalry” in 1861. He served until the end of the war, and enlisted again immediately and served until 1870.


      Some sources indicate that he served in the following battles during the Civil War:


      Williamsburg, Gaines' Mill, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Kelly's Ford, Stoneman's Raid, Upperville, Antietam, Sheridan's raid (1864), Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Winchester, Fisher's Gap, Cedar Creek, and many others.


      It is also suggested that he fought in various skirmishes in the Northwest (Washington and Idaho) and was with Colonel Steptoe during a famous defeat.


      Any help is greatly appreciated!

        • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Do you have any additional information on John Hager, believe it or not its a very common name. Looking for a DOB, spouse, or place he lived or family, or state he may have lived.

            • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
              Marcel Hager Wayfarer

              Thanks, I have the following information:


              Birth: April 15, 1830 in Germany

              Death: March 10, 1907 in Coeur d'Alene Idaho

              Immigration: 1850, New York

              Spouse: Christine Hager, married Oct 26, 1863 in Washington DC


              States/Territories he is reported to have lived in:

              New York



              New Mexico





              Washington DC



                • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
                  Elliot Schneider Ranger




                  Probate Records:



                  Here is his pension index card:



                  Here is where he is buried and a nice write up on his life. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74930429/john-hager



                  Western Historical Publishing Company 1903


                  "John Hager was born in Baden, German, on April 11, 1830, receiving a good common schooling and in 1848 enlisted in the volunteer force that resisted the German Government. He was on the defeated side and to avoid the vigilance of the government he went to Switzerland for some months and then returned home and in 1850 came to America. He located in New York, later in Philadelphia and in 1853 he enlisted in the regular army, being in the First Dragoons. He was in Minnesota and went then to New Mexico and was garrisoned on the Rio Grande, then went to Arizona in 1856, from that place to California and thence to Walla Walla, where de did service and in the surrounding country until the time of his discharge in 1858. He was with Colonel Steptoe in the memorable defeat of that officer and also fought under Wright in various places. In 1860 the military spirit of our subject would again lead him to enlist and so he was enrolled with Company C, First Dragoons. He was stationed at Lapwai to watch the Indians. Sibley Johnson, a rebel at heart, was in command of the department of the west and ordered then all to Texas, but he being relieved about that time the order was countermanded and the Dragoons were ordered to Washington, DC. Going on horseback to Vancouver, they took a steamer to Washington and soon were in the heart of the fight in the east. Words are futile to express the excellency of the career of this gentleman and the ardor, the valor and the courage displayed and we append the most eloquent tribute we know, which is a list of a portion of the battles where he fought with spirit. Many others were in the list but they are too numerous to mention. skirmishes were continually going on and we could fill a volume were we to recount all the incidents that befell this veteran in his career. On May 4, 1862, he was in the battle of Williamsburg; on June 27, he fought in the sanguinary struggle known as Gaines' Mill; on June 30, 1862, he participated in the battle of White Oak Swamp, on July 1, at Malvern Hill, and on March 17, 1863, he fought at Kelly's Ford; on April 20, 1862, he was in Stoneman's Raid; on June 21, 1863, at Upperville, he did valiant service; on September 14, 1863, he fount at Antietam; and on May 9, 1864, he participated in Sheridan's raid. At Cold Harbor he was in the awful fight on May 20, 1864, and there lost his hearing; he participated in the battle of the Wilderness on May 7, 1864; fought at the battle of Winchester, also at Fisher's Gap and Cedar Creek, and many others. Where will we find a military record like this? Really, it seems the most brilliant and worthy of any that has been our privilege to observe. As soon as the war was over, he enlisted again and was stationed at Atlanta, Georgia. At the expiration of his time in 1870, he bought a farm and tilled it for a while and sold then and went into the drug business, then he worked for the street car company for three years and in 1877 came to Fort Custer, and in 1878 we find him in Couer d'Alene. He worked for the government six months and then took a squatter's right on land near Hayden lake, which was his home for twelve years, then he sold and came to Coeur d'Alene. He has a good farm which he rents, has a good residence in the town and also two other dwellings which he rents. He also has other property.


                  In 1863 Mr. Hager married Mrs. Christine Clark of Washington, D.C., where the nuptials occurred. Mrs. Hager's former husband was killed at Brandy station, being a comrade of Mr. Hager at that time. To Mr. and Mrs. Hager there have been born five children: Frederica, wife of William Kipp, in Coeur d'Alene; William, in the employ of the government at Fort Wright, Washington, having been thus engaged for twenty years; Mary, wife of Isaac Busby, in Wardner, Idaho; Charles, married and living at Fort Wright, where he is employed by the government; Maggie, wife of George Joyce, in Belgrade, Montana. Mr. Hager is a member of the G.A.R., and he and his wife are members of the Episcopalian church. It is very pleasant to contemplate the worthy veteran residing quietly in the land he fought to defend and enjoying the fruits of his faithful labor, while all admire and esteem him."

                  1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
                      Marcel Hager Wayfarer

                      Great, thank you! Any information is very helpful to help fill in the gaps about what is known about him. I had found the grave information previously, and the story certainly piqued my interest about his military service, rank, awards, etc., especially since my father and I served and enjoy military history, so it’s very interesting to know more about our ancestor that lived through so many military campaigns in such a chaotic period in the US.


                      I know the story above mentions about being a member of the G.A.R., though my searches so far haven’t come up with much more about that either.

                • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
                  Jason Atkinson Ranger

                  Dear Mr. Hager,

                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                  We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Enlistment Papers, 1798 - October 31, 1912 and Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798 - 1914 (M233) in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include military service files of the Regular Army. We also located Muster Rolls of Regular Army Organizations, 1784 - 10/31/1912 and Returns of Military Organizations, ca. 1800 - 12/1916 in Record Group 94 that may include records for 1st Dragoons and the 1st Cavalry. Additionally, we located 8 records series in various record groups created by the 1st Cavalry and its predecessors that include records from the time periods that your ancestor served. For more information about these records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


                  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1). We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


                  M233 has been digitized and is available on Fold3 as Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914; on Ancestry as U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914; and on FamilySearch as United States Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


                  We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


                  • Re: Seeking military records for my ancestor John Hager. US Army 1853-1858 & 1860-1870
                    Amber Frable Adventurer

                    Need more information on John Hagar.  Do you know where he resided.  When I search I find that name in Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois.  Any more information would be greatly appreciated to help narrow the search.  Also,  do you have a name for his spouse?  Thanks