William H Friesel

BirthAug. 17, 1844
DeathJan. 28, 1943
CemeteryOakwood (Weeping Water)
PostLafayette (Weeping Water)
Unit62nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Company K

Corporal William H. Friesel

Company K, 62nd Pennsylvania Infantry

Friesel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 17, 1844. His name was spelled Frizzel and Freesell by other Civil War sources. He enlisted at the age of 16 years and was mustered in the regiment on July 22, 1861. Pennsylvania Civil War records list his occupation as a miner and records his height at 5 feet 4 inches. Corporal Friesel served nearly 3 years with the regiment and was mustered out of the service on July 13, 1864 at Pittsburgh.

The 62nd Pennsylvania was organized in Pittsburgh on August 31, 1861. It was part of the Army of the Potomac under the leadership of General McClellan. In the early part of the War the regiment was involved in several major battles. Some of them include:

Battle of Gaines’ Mill (VA) (June 27, 1862)

Battle of Malvern Hill (VA) (July 1, 1862).

Battle of Antietam (MD) (September 16-17, 1862).

Battle of Fredericksburg (VA) (December 12-15, 1862).

Battle of Chancellorsville (VA) (May 1-5, 1863).

The Battle of Gaines’ Mill was the regiment’s most costly engagement during the War. On June 27, 1862 the unit lost 22 soldiers, 38 were wounded, 8 were captured, and 6 were reported missing.

The regiment fought at the Battle of Gettysburg (PA) (July 1-3, 1863). On July 2, 1863 Corporal Friesel was captured by Confederate forces and sent to the infamous Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. The prison was overcrowded and the prisoner lived in horrendous conditions. He was imprisoned for 9 months and released in either March or April, 1864. The exact date of his release was not available.

William H. Friesel died on January 28, 1943 at the age of 99 years. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Weeping Water (Cass County), Nebraska. At the time of his death, he was the last member of the Bishop Post (#61) of the Grand Army of the Republic in Weeping Water. In addition, he was the last Civil War Veteran in Cass County.

Doc – Friesel(62PA).doc

Note: Veteran bios were compiled and written by Dean Podoll.