Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
The 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment Civil War Monument
The 32nd Indiana at the Battle of Rowletts Station
On December 17, 1861, the "1st German" 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel August Willich, fought Confederate cavalry, infantry and artillery units south of Munfordville, Kentucky, near Rowletts Station. While both forces retreated from the battlefield, the Union regiment successfully defended a vital bridge over the Green River. Thirteen men of the regiment died and 30 were wounded in the engagement.
The Union dead were buried on a knoll west of Munfordville near the bridge.
To commemorate the loss, Private August Bloedner, Co. I, 32nd Indiana, acquired a block of local limestone and sculpted an intricate monument that was placed near the graves in January 1862. Carved in relief near the top is an eagle with wings spread full, clutching a brace of cannon. Two stacks of cannonballs are paired below the artillery with unfurled American flags flanking each side. An olive spring and an oak branch border the recess at each end. Below this frieze the stone forms a tablet on which Bloedner engraved in German an account
In June of 1867, the remains of the dead and the monument were moved to the Federal section of Cave Hill Cemetery in Lousiville.
The monument, one of the nation's oldest existing Civil War memorials, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Now nearly illegible, the translated inscription rads:
"Here rest the first martyrs of the 32nd, the first German Regiment of Indiana. They were fighting nobly in defense of the free Constitution of the United States of America.
They fell on the 17th day of December, 1861, in the battle of Rowletts Station, in which one regiment of Texas Rangers, two regiments of infantry, and six pieces of rebel artillery, in all over three thousand men, were defeated by 500 German soldiers."
August Bloedner, Sculptor of the Monument
Christian Friedrich August Bloedner was born on March 1, 1827, in Altenburg, Germany. He studied sculpture and painting at the Art and Craft School in Altenburg and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden before emigrating to America in 1849. He settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked as a stonecutter and married Henrietta Behnke on March 3, 1856.
Bloedner enlisted in the Union army on August 21, 1861, and was assigned to Co. I, 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He rose
The Monument Today
The monument is located in Cave Hill National Cemetery, a federal tract that is managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, within the larger private cemetery. The condition of the monument has deteriorated over the years due to the porous quality of the limestone, natural weathering and manmade pollutants. While the original detail of the carving and text cannot be restored, it is hoped that the loss of additional stone may be slowed through conservation treatment.
Erected by The Department of Veterans Affairs & The Kentucky Heritage Council.
Topics. This historical marker monument is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1862.
Location. 38° 14.903′ N, 85° 43.327′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Baxter Avenue and Payne Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is in Cave Hill National Cemetery, which is contained within the much larger Cave Hill Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 Baxter Avenue, Louisville KY 40204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Unknown Union Soldiers Memorial (a few steps from this marker); The Oldest Existing Civil War Monument (a few steps from this marker); Croghans of Locust Grove / Major William Croghan (within shouting distance of this marker); Cave Hill National Cemetery (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Augustus E. Willson (1846-1931) (about 800 feet away); Nathaniel Wolfe (approx. 0.2 miles away); A National Cemetery System (approx. 0.2 miles away); This monument to the memory of James Guthrie (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,574 times since then and 44 times this year. Last updated on April 4, 2010, by Karl mAAS of Evansville, Indiana. Photos: 1. submitted on January 11, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 2. submitted on January 12, 2010, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on March 31, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.