Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - John Janicke

John George Janicke

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Isaac Stevens Post #1 Seattle, King Co. WA

Unit History

  • 4th Minnesota Infantry G

See full unit history

John Janicke
Full Unit History

Organized: Fall, 1861
Mustered In: 11/1/1861
Mustered Out: 6/1/1866

Organized: Summer/Fall, 1861 Ft. Snelling St. Paul, MN
Mustered In: By Companies 10/1861 - 12/1861 Ft. Snelling St. Paul, MN
Mustered Out: 7/19/65 Louisville, KY

Regimental History

BATTALION HISTORY: (Brackett's/5th)

Brackett's Minnesota Cavalry Battalion had a relatively long and interesting existence. Organized in the fall of 1861, it initially consisted of three companies, one of whom was captained by Alfred B. Brackett. Originally known as the "Minnesota Light Cavalry", it departed Minnesota in late 1861 and arrived in St. Louis, MO on 12/28 of that waning year.

In Missouri the three Minnesota companies were assigned to an organization known as the "Curtis Horse." Commanded by a General Curtis, this "regiment" consisted of four companies from Iowa, three from Minnesota, three from Nebraska and two from Missouri. The combined units were subsequently renamed the 5th Iowa Cavalry, with Captain Brackett becoming the regiment's major.

In February, 1862 the 5th was sent to Ft. Donelson, TN. After participating in the battle for that place (2/11-16), the regiment performed wagon guard and patrolled in that region for about a year. During this period it also helped in constructing  bridges, roads and other lines of supply/communication necessary for the  battle of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing (4/6 - 7/1862), TN.

After Shiloh/Pittsburg landing the 5th took part in the siege of Corinth, MS. It then pursued the fleeting enemy for ninety miles.

At Lockridge Mills, TN Captain Von Minden and twenty eight of his company were taken prisoner, but paroled. Shortly thereafter, being ordered on duty these men refused to do so until officially exchanged. As a result they were discharged in disgrace and turned out of camp because they had kept their written word. Survivors of the company resented this action to their dying day. During the remainder of 1862 the 5th saw action in Tennessee during August and September.

1863 engagements for the 5th  in Tennessee included another visit to Ft. Donelson and the Tullahoma campaign (6/24 – 7/3). Finally, near year’s end, two of Confed. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's regiments were defeated at the Tennessee River.

During late 1863/early '64 the 5th’s Minnesota companies reenlisted. While these men were on thirty day furloughs, Brackett's Cavalry Battalion was organized.  At that time it was detached from the 5th and, with the addition of another company, was assigned to duty along the Minnesota/Dakota Territory "frontier" where it dealt with Native American hostiles.

In the ensuing 1864 campaign up the Missouri River, during the fight at Tahkahokuty Mountain the battalion charged the Indians and drove them foot - by - foot across a ravine, up and over a hill. This scattered the Indian force far and wide.

The Battalion spent the winter of 1864/'65 at Fort Ridgley, MN. For the remainder of the latter year it was on patrol duty along the two hundred mile frontier line.

Final muster came in May, 1866.


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 0; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 4; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 6.



The 4th Minnesota was a three year, western theater infantry regiment. It was organized during the summer and fall of 1861 and mustered in by companies between October and December of that year.

Initially five of the regimental companies were dispatched to forts Ripley in MN and Abercrombie in the Dakota Territory (DT).  In March, 1862 the regiment was united at Ft. Snelling, MN. It left the state on 4/1/1862 and for Benton Barracks located near St. Louis, MO.

In May, 1862 the 4th moved to Corinth, MS. It remained entrenched there until June when Rebel forces evacuated that place. The regiment was then in engaged with the enemy at Iuka (9/19) before it returned to Corinth. It remained there during the rest of the year.

At the dawn of 1863 the 4th joined Union Gen. U.S. Grant's troop movement towards Vicksburg, MS. Following railroad guard duty, it was assigned to Memphis, TN in February. March found the troops participating in the Yazoo Pass Expedition. The regiment was present at the Mississippi battles of Port Gibson (5/1), Raymond (5/12) and Jackson (5/14). The unit led the Federal advance at Champion's Hill (5/16). On 5/20 it joined the siege line at Vicksburg and, during the (5/22) blue coat assault on that city's field works held an unsupported position in front of the enemy fortifications until dark. Upon the surrender of Vicksburg (7/4) the brass band of the 4th escorted the stars and stripes into the city.

On 1/1/1864 three quarters of the regiment reenlisted. Thirty day home furloughs came in March.

Returning to active duty, in June the 4th joined Union Gen. W.T. Sherman's movements upon Atlanta, GA. During the battle of Allatoona (10/5) it lost forty four men, but captured the flags of the 35th and 38th, Mississippi. 1864 concluded with the "march to the sea."

During the early months of 1865 the 4th marched northward through the Carolinas. It engaged the enemy at Columbia, NC (2/24) and was in reserve at Bentonville (5/19 - 21).

The War ended, the regiment travelled - via Richmond, VA - to Washington, D.C. There, during the Grand Review, the 4th marched at the head of Sherman's army.

Final muster came in July at Louisville, KY.


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 3; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:  3; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded; 58; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 175.

Soldier History

SOLDIER: (Brackett's/5th)
Residence: St Paul Ramsey County, MN   Age: 34.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/16/1861 St. Paul Ramsey County, MN   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/16/1861
Discharged For Disability: 1/28/1863
Highest Rank: 1st. Sgt.
Rank At Discharge: 1st. Sgt.

Residence: St. Paul Ramsey County, MN Age: 37.7 yrs.
Commissioned: 9/23/1864 Cartersville, GA Rank:  2nd Lieut.
Mustered Out: 7/19/1865 Louisville, KY
Highest Rank: 1st Lieut.
Rank At Discharge: 1st Lieut. 

Family History


NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of John Janicke was created in October, 2021 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.

John George Janicke was born 1/18/1827. Birthed in Europe, his country of origin has been variously noted as Germany, Prussia and Saxony. Germany, however, appears most prevalently.

There is very little available documentation pertaining to John's parentage. Both were reportedly German-born. His father was also John G. Janicke. His mother's name is an unknown. Finally, there is no information available regarding possible siblings.

John reportedly came to the United States, in 1849. He may, however, arrived here earlier as - according to the U.S. Census for 1900 - 1849 was the year he became a naturalized American citizen.

As of September, 1861 John was residing in St. Paul Ramsey County, MN. That was when and where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His unit of service was Brackett's Minnesota Cavalry Battalion a.k.a. the 5th Iowa Calvary. Joining the unit as a private soldier, perhaps because he was older than the average (27.5 yrs.) Civil War combatant, Private Janicke rose in rank to become a First Sergeant.

First Sergeant Janicke's enlistment was to have been for three years, but John received a disability discharge in January, 1863. Without accessing military service and medical records the exact nature of the disability remains an unknown.*

While away from the military during 1863 John married.  He wed on 10/13/1863 in Ramsey County, MN. His bride was the previously wed Elizabeth “Ole” Williams (nee Olson). Elizabeth had been born in Norway during June, 1831. She had come to America in 1854. 

During their years together John and Elizabeth produced seven children. Only five are identified: Charles Frederick Janicke (b. 3/1863 MN), Christina Janicke (b. 1866 MN), George J. Janicke (b. 1868 MN), Rachel A. Janicke (b. 1872 WT) and Marian Augusta "Minnie" Janicke (b. 9/1/1875 Seattle King County, WT). Four of the five were living at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Whatever ailment or physical condition had removed John from the military in early 1863, by September, 1864 it had waned in severity or been corrected enough to allow John’s return to the army. On that occasion he entered the 4th Minnesota Infantry at the commissioned rank of 2nd Lieutenant. During his period of service he rose from Second to First Lieutenant.

Available documents provide a hint of Lieutenant Janicke becoming a Rebel captive before The War's end. Military records will have to be obtained to shed light on this possibility.

Where John and family resided after The War is an unknown. Another unknown is the location of his family during the U.S. Census of 1870.

In 1871 the Janickes moved westward to Washington Territory’s (WT) Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The lure of the area was likely the availability of homestead land which Civil War veterans could claim.

The Janicke family settled on a parcel in Fall City which is located in the eastern part of King County, WT. John farmed the land and "proved up" on it, receiving the patent (deed) on 12/30/1876. He would live out his years on the tract.

Elizabeth died in Fall City King County, WA on 11/27/1909. Details of the 78 year old's passing are not known. She was/is buried in the Fall City Cemetery.

During the Janicke family's King County years daughter Minnie resided in her parents' home.  That residential arrangement continued following her mother's passing.  She would be the person to notify King County officials when her father died.

John George Janicke passed away in in his Fall City home on 12/18/1919. Cause of death was listed as "senile debility." The old soldier was ninety two years and eleven months of age. Burial was/is in the Fall City Cemetery with Elizabeth.  ____________________________________________________________________________________

* As early as 5/13/1863 John filed the paperwork to receive a U.S. Government disability pension based on ailments or injuries which he traced to his initial period of Civil War soldiering. We do not have information directly pertaining to the grounds for that stipend, but a pension was granted. Documentation from later years would suggest that basis for the payment was a hernia or hernias. That debility may have also been joined by lung disease at some point in time. As for the payment scale, where it began is an unknown, but by 6/1/1918 it had grown to forty dollars per month. Again, archival documents will be needed to clarify these matters.


Buried at Fall City Cemetery

©2022 Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State • All Rights Reserved.