The Civil War in Missouri

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Sword Colonel Charles G. Stifel, 5th USRC (Union)

1853 and 1861
MHM Collections

Charles G. Stifel, a German immigrant, arrived in St. Louis about 1849. He entered into the brewing business and within a decade owned his own brewery at Fourteenth and Chambers streets. On the eve of the Civil War, Stifel prepared for the hostilities by purchasing 50 muskets and raising a militia company that trained in a malt house connected to his brewery.On May 11, 1861, Stifel became commander of the 5th U.S. Reserve Corps (Union), a regiment organized for three months’ service. The same day that the unit was mustered into service, it was attacked by an angry mob in the city streets, resulting in the deaths of nine soldiers and civilians. The regiment was subsequently attached to Gen. Nathaniel Lyon’s Army of the West and participated in skirmishes at Blue Mills and Brunswick, Missouri. Stifel re-enlisted when the unit reorganized for three years’ service in August 1861, but resigned from service before the end of the year to return to his brewing business.