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A.A. von Kleiser

A.A. von Kleiser

Federal (USV)


Alfred August von Kleiser

(1843 - 1884)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 1st Battalion New York Light Artillery, Battery B

Before Antietam

He came to America before the War. On 24 July 1861, then age 19, he enrolled in New York City and he mustered as 2nd Lieutenant, Company A, 1st Battalion New York Artillery on 12 August. He transferred to Company B and mustered as their First Lieutenant on 11 January 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded his battery in Maryland. Their big 20-pounder Parrott rifles were posted on the heights just east of the Antietam Creek on 16 and 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

His battery was redesignated the 30th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery in March 1863 and he was promoted to be its Captain on 4 August. By the Autumn of 1863 his Parrotts had been replaced by Napoleons, and two of those pieces were disabled and captured - one (famously) by the VMI Cadets - in action at New Market, VA, on 15 May 1864. He was himself captured on 21 June 1864 at Buford's Gap, VA, and was in prison camps in Macon, GA and Columbia, SC. He escaped from Columbia on 15 November but was recaptured and held until being paroled at Northeast Ferry, NC on 1 March 1865. He was discharged in New York City on 15 May 1865.

After the War

By 1870 he was a store keeper living with his parents-in-law in Opequon, near Martinsburg, Berkley County, WV. He died relatively young at age 40, of tuberculosis.

References & notes

His service from Phfisterer.1 Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1870. His picture from an albumen photograph of a group of 4 officers (probably including Conrad Carrolien, also Battery B) kindly shared by Ronald S. Coddington, from his collection. More about that photograph from Walnutts Antiques via ebay. It was taken in Frederick, MD probably in July 1863, just after Gettysburg.

He married Elizabeth "Lizie" Theophile (b. 1845) in March 1866 in Martinsburg, WV and they had 3 or 4 children.

More on the Web

See much more detail about the battery's lost guns at New Market, the Army investigation, and von Kleiser's response in a fine post by Charles R. Knight on his Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market blog.


04/22/1843; Friedrichsthal, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY


01/07/1884; Baltimore, MD


1   Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes, Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1909-12, Vol. 2, Pt. IV, pp. 1622, 1624  [AotW citation 24270]