The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Captain Henry A. Kircher, 12th Missouri Infantry Volunteers (Union) for Circuit Court Clerk, Belleville, Ill.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (ALPLM)

At the Battle of Ringgold Gap, Georgia, in November 1863, Captain Henry A. Kircher was seriously wounded by gunfire, suffering a shot in his right arm and another in his left leg. A third shot that hit Kircher as he was being carried away to safety was not serious, but the arm and leg wounds were severe enough to warrant double amputation, a procedure performed in a field hospital by the regimental surgeon.After his discharge from service in August 1864, Kircher returned to his home in Belleville, Illinois, and entered politics. This campaign photograph for circuit court clerk shows him balancing on one leg and further supported by his one good arm, proudly wearing his uniform. He handily won the election and served his four-year term. Afterward he joined his father’s hardware company as a partner. Kircher pursued other business ventures and remained a public servant until his death in 1908.