Motorhead Quote

"The battlefields are silent now. The graves all look the same." -- Motorhead,Voices from the War

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Carolina Mollar

My previous post was about Peter Eixenberger's wife, Mary. This time I take a look at another trooper spouse, Carolina Mollar. 

Jan Mollar was enlisted on January 15, 1872, in Chicago, Illinois, by Captain Samuel Young.  His previous occupation was laborer.  He was discharged on January 15, 1877, upon expiration of service, as a corporal of excellent character.  He had a sandy complexion, grey eyes, light hair, and was 5’8” tall. He was wounded in the right thigh during the Battle of the Little Big Horn hilltop fight on June 25, 1876.  He was later transported to Fort Abraham Lincoln on the steamer Far West

There are various spellings for Mollar's last name. On pension records he is listed as Jan Moller and elsewhere as John Muller, James Muller, or James Mullen. He was baptized ‘Jens Mathiasen Móller’ but enlisted under the name of Jan Moller. [Peter Russell email of March 21, 2009]. His gravestone at Mount Moriah lists his last name as 'Mollar', so that is what I'm using here.


MOLLER - ANDERSON - Sunday, October 4, 1891,

Justice Crawford officiating. John Moller to Carolina Anderson.

The wedding had a spice of romance in it. In childhood the bride and groom had been playmates in old Denmark. Years ago the groom came to this country, drifting to the Hills, located a ranch west of this city, prospered, and finally wrote for his boyhood’s sweetheart. Saturday she arrived in Deadwood, and Sunday the nuptial knot was tied. The groom is highly spoken of by those here who have known him for years. The bride, about 35 years of age (the groom is about 42) is described as a bright, comely woman, a fit helpmeet for her industrious husband. [Spearfish Weekly Register; October 10, 1891]

According to her headstone, Carolina was born in Sweden on June 18, 1849. [Researcher Peter Russell provides a birthdate of June 11, 1849] In 1898, the Mollars headed to Denmark, where they lived until 1903. In March 1903, they emigrated to the United States and eventually ended up living with Carolina's son, William, in Deadwood at 63 Stewart Street.

Former Mollar home, 63 Stewart Street, Deadwood, South Dakota.

Carolina Mollar died in her son's home on Wednesday, January 11, 1928.

Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times; January 12, 1928

Carolina's funeral was held in Deadwood, South Dakota, on Saturday, January 14. She was buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Section 2 Plot 200. 

Lead Daily Call; January 13, 1928

Jan Mollar died six weeks later and is buried next to his wife.

Entrance to Mount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, South Dakota

Jan and Carolina Mollar, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, South Dakota

Jan and Carolina Mollar, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, South Dakota

It is very easy to visit the graves of Jan and Carolina. When you enter the front gates at Mount Moriah, follow the walking path and you will see a set of elevated graves to your right. The Mollar headstone is among these and can be easily seen from the walking path. For technology lovers, the GPS coordinates of the grave are 44.375392 -103.724389. 

Much of the biographical information for Carolina is from the article, The Third Dane Who Survived the Little Big Horn Fight by researcher Peter Russell that appeared in the Frontier Army of Dakota Post-Dispatch in the Spring 2019 issue.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Mary Eixenberger

Peter Eixenberger enlisted on November 15, 1875, in New York City. He listed his previous occupation as musician. He was discharged on November 14, 1880, at Fort Meade, Dakota, upon expiration of service, as a private of excellent character. He then re-enlisted for another five year term. 

He was not present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was on detached service with the rest of the 7th Cavalry band at Yellowstone Depot, Montana Territory. 

In November, 1885, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Achenbach.  To this union eight children were born: Frank of Sykes, Mont; Mrs. John Kellar of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Peter, Jr., Gladys, Arthur, Clarence, Carl, and Joseph of Sturgis.  All were present at the funeral but Mrs. John Kellar, who will arrive here tomorrow. [Eixenberger's obituary; Sturgis Weekly Record; September 14, 1917]

Peter and Mary Eixenberger

Peter Eixenberger died on September 12, 1917, in Sykes, Montana. He was buried in the St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota. 

Just over a year after her husband's death, Mary was faced with more sorrow. Two of her children, Peter, Jr., and Gladys, both died during the Spanish Influenza outbreak. A while back, the death of Eixenberger's children was a topic on this same blog. You can find that previous post by clicking here.

The following appeared in the November 16, 1918 edition of the Custer Weekly Chronicle, Custer, South Dakota, also reporting the deaths of Peter Jr. and Gladys.

Custer Weekly Chronicle; November 16, 1918

Mary went on living in the Black Hills. In 1939, her family threw her a surprise 72nd birthday party. The party received mention in the April 28, 1939 edition of the Lead Daily Call.

Lead Daily Call; April 28, 1939

The following year, in December, Mary passed away. She was buried alongside her husband, who had died 23 years previous, in St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Lead Daily Call; December 8, 1940

Friday, August 18, 2023

General Custer's Body Recovered

Subscribing to is one of the smartest things I've ever done. I originally signed up for the trial period to check some things out. But I find myself returning to those "musty, old newspapers" on a regular basis. The cost is roughly the same as a streaming video service and you don't feel guilty if you spend an entire evening hunting around.

The following was stumbled upon while looking up a totally different subject. When that happens, and it happens a lot, I drop it into a file folder. When I'm struggling for something to post in an update, like now, I'll go looking through that folder and I always find something interesting.

This little tidbit is from the BLACK HILLS CHAMPION newspaper out of Deadwood, South Dakota. This is from the July 16, 1877 edition.

Black Hills Champion, Deadwood, South Dakota, July 16, 1877

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Tragedy of Abram Brant

Abram Brant was awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions in bringing water to the wounded under a most galling fire. He was to be given the medal in a ceremony on October 5, 1878. Instead, he was killed the night before from an accidental gunshot wound to the abdomen. The soldiers were encamped near Camp Ruhlen, Dakota, when Brant was shot while handing his revolver to the First Sergeant. His actual gravesite is unknown at this time.

Brant enlisted on September 27, 1875, in St Louis. He listed his previous occupation as civil engineer. He had hazel eyes, light hair, a fair complexion, and was 5’ 5 7/8” tall. He is listed elsewhere as Abraham B. Brant.  

The whereabouts of Brant's Medal of Honor are unknown. It is supposed that he was buried with it.

Memorial marker for Brant at the Fort Meade Post Cemetery. The 
location of his actual grave is unknown. 

Article about the Brant accidental shooting.
Black Hills Daily Pioneer, October 5, 1878.


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Camp J.G. Sturgis Historical Marker Dedication

 In July 1955, a group of descendants of 7th Cavalry troopers, along with some others, met at the site of the former Camp J.G. Sturgis, to dedicate a historical marker along the new Highway 79. The relocation of the highway made accessibility to the site easier than it had been previously.

Camp J.G. Sturgis was established July 1, 1878, in the shadow of Bear Butte. It was named for Lieutenant Jack Sturgis, who was killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in June 1876. His body was never identified.

A marker was erected in 1955 to commemorate the site. Descendants of Little Big Horn veterans gathered at the site of the marker on July 28, 1955.

Three daughters of trooper John Hammon were in attendance, as well as the son of trooper Benjamin Wells. 

Both Hammon and Wells were members of Company G and were assigned to Major Reno. Hammon survived the battle and went on to become a well-known and respected resident of Sturgis. He died in 1909 and is buried in Bear Butte Cemetery. Benjamin Wells was killed in the valley fight at the Little Big Horn. It is presumed that his remains are buried in the mass grave atop Last Stand Hill at the battlefield.

Rapid City Journal, Friday, July 29, 1955

The site as it looks today.

The text on the historical marker for Camp J.G. Sturgis.

The marker for Camp J.G. Sturgis is located at 44° 29.319′ N, 103° 26.844′ W. It is on the east side of Highway 79, just north of Sturgis, South Dakota.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Exploring with Custer

Promo ad for the Black Hills featuring Custer

I want to bring your attention to something special. Paul Horsted and Ernest Graffe have just announced a new edition to their wildly popular book, EXPLORING WITH CUSTER. 

In 1874, Custer led the U.S. 7th Cavalry on an expedition into the Black Hills of present day South Dakota. The existence of gold in the region was verified and the race was on. Since that time Custer's name and presence is all over the Black Hills. There's Custer county, the city of Custer, and of course, the crown jewel of the State park system - Custer State Park.

EXPLORING WITH CUSTER examines the expedition in detail. Newspapermen were along for the trip and their reports are contained within the text along with journal and diary entries from the participants. Lots of maps and charts allow you to travel along from the comfort of your easy chair. There are also GPS coordinates for trail spots that are located on public lands so you can go see for yourself what the 7th Cavalry saw. 

The real highlight of the book are the photos. In 1874, Custer brought along a photographer to document the trip and he took the first images of the Black Hills. The photographer, W.H. Illingworth, was able to capture some spectacular images of the scenery in the area. Those photos are laid out side-by-side with modern day depictions of the sites. In some cases, a lot of change is seen. In others, it is shocking how much has stayed the same over the last almost 150 years. 

Author Paul Horsted says this about the new edition: "This new, larger edition has been completely revised. We added 36 pages of photos, discoveries, Expedition landmarks, and new sources. Every photo site is updated, and historic photos have amazing clarity thanks to new scans of the original glass negatives. More than 260 photos and 135 maps are now included in the 336-page book."

You will not be disappointed with this book. I have literally spent hours staring at the eye-popping photos and scouring the maps. Order directly from Paul and you can get a signed copy of your very own. Be sure to order the new REVISED 4TH EDITION by clicking the link below.

Click here to read the newspaper announcement
that set off the Black Hills gold rush.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Mollar and Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood

When most people think of Deadwood, South Dakota, they conjure up thoughts of the old west, gold prospectors, outlaws, and gunfights. It's known as being the place where Wild Bill met his ultimate fate, holding the Deadman's Hand of aces and eights. History is all over the streets and surrounding hillsides. Mount Moriah Cemetery sits on one of these hills above the city.

Mount Moriah is both a cemetery and a history lesson. Deadwood's "Big Four" are all buried here: Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Preacher Smith, and Potato Creek Johnny. If you spend any time in Deadwood you will run across references to these four famous Mount Moriah residents. 

But there's another resident of Mount Moriah who has close ties with history. Jan Mollar enlisted in the 7th U.S. Cavalry on January 15, 1872, in Chicago, Illinois. He listed his previous occupation as laborer. He was discharged on January 15, 1877, upon expiration of service, as a corporal of excellent character. On pension records he is listed as Jan Moller and elsewhere as John Muller, James Muller, or James Mullen. His gravestone at Mount Moriah lists his name as Jan Mollar. 

While living in Deadwood in 1927, he resided at 63 Stewart Street (People live there today so if you visit, please respect their privacy).  He was wounded in the right thigh during the siege on the hilltop on June 25, 1876. He was later transported to Fort Abraham Lincoln on the steamer Far West. He died on February 23, 1928, and was buried at Mount Moriah in Deadwood, South Dakota.

When you walk through the front gate at Mount Moriah, look up to your right and you will see Mollar's grave. Most visitors, and indeed even the Mount Moriah employees, know nothing of Jan Mollar and his link to one of the most famous battles in American history.

Front gates at Mount Moriah. Mollar's grave is up on right.

Mollar grave.

Mollar grave.

Former Mollar residence at 63 Stewart Street, Deadwood, SD.